Howard to leave Cricket China in 2019

Pat Howard, one of the most powerful and polarising figures at Cricket (CA), will depart his post after the 2019 Ashes.
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Howard was appointed manager of team performance in 2011.

The creation of his senior role, which involves a diverse range of responsibilities that has included the hiring and firing of senior coaches, was one of the key recommendations of the Argus review.

Howard, who has played a leading role in most of n cricket’s highs and lows during a turbulent period, will not seek a new contract when his deal expires next year.

He was dispatched to South Africa earlier this year to conduct a formal investigation into the ball-tampering saga alongside head of integrity Ian Roy.

Many pundits have questioned the role Howard played in fostering a win-at-all-costs mentality, which is set to be among the subjects covered in the independent cultural review that will be released on Monday.

“The decision is his own and is no way connected to the reviews to be released on Monday,” a CA spokesperson said.

“A recruitment process will be decided and announced in due course, but there is plenty of time for this to be considered.”

The fact that Howard has been entrusted to manage Steve Smith and David Warner’s likely return plus ‘s World Cup and Ashes defence in England suggests he has not been pushed by CA.

Many former cricketers were outraged by Howard’s appointment, which came after 20 rugby Tests for the Wallabies and a stint as high-performance manager at the n Rugby Union (ARU).

Howard has continued to be criticised during a turbulent period for n cricket, most recently for flagging 30-plus scores as a selection metric.

But Howard has also won supporters in high places at CA, having served as somewhat of a conduit between the board and team while spearheading several reforms at first-class and junior level.

“We see his ongoing contribution as integral to our future plans,” CA chief executive James Sutherland said after Howard’s contract renewal in 2017.

The addition of the Dukes ball and a bonus-point system are two of Howard’s Sheffield Shield innovations.

He has also been responsible for mapping out the best possible path through continuous cricket and overlapping schedules, which has often meant resting players, and pushed hard for more development and A tours.

Howard was part of the decision to sack former coach Mickey Arthur, on the eve of the 2013 Ashes, and hire Darren Lehmann as his replacement.

He memorably rowed with Shane Watson during homeworkgate in 2013, having suggested the vice-captain at the time acted “in the best interests of the team sometimes”, and was part of CA’s negotiation team during last year’s pay dispute.

Former Test quick Stuart Clark, who last year described Howard as useless, has been among his most vocal critics.