WORCESTERSHIRE batsman and former captain Daryl Mitchell has been elected as the new chairman of the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
Mitchell, 33, was elected after a ballot of all current county cricketers in England and Wales and his appointment is due to be ratified at the PCA annual general meeting in Birmingham on February 21.
Mitchell has been appointed for an initial two-year term and he will succeed Mark Wallace, the former Glamorgan wicketkeeper, who was due to stand down, having served the maximum of two terms of office, before he retired from playing to become a PCA Personal Development Manager.
There were four other candidates – Graham Onions (Durham), Paul Horton (Leicestershire), James Hildreth (Somerset) and Steven Crook (Northamptonshire) – in a keenly contested election for the Chairmanship.
“It was pretty competitive and there were some really good lads who went for it, so to be elected by your peers from other clubs is very pleasing,” Mitchell said.
“It’s a prestigious role and it has been done very well in recent years by Vikram Solanki, who I know very well from his time at Worcestershire, and then Mark Wallace, who has done a fantastic job over the last four years. It’s a big role and a big honour and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“I have been involved with the PCA as a county representative since 2009 so I have had a heavy involvement so I know about the fantastic work that they do.
“I have enjoyed being involved as a representative so this is the next step really. I want to try to get involved at the coal face of the organisation.”
Mitchell is the third Worcestershire player to become PCA Chairman after Tim Curtis (1989-96) and Solanki (2009-13) and he takes charge in the Association’s 50th Anniversary season.
The PCA was formed by Fred Rumsey, another former Worcestershire player who was then playing for Somerset, at a meeting in London in November 1967.
Mitchell is already a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s cricket committee having replaced Warwickshire captain Ian Bell as players’ representative last year.
“I’ve got to know people at the ECB. There is a lot of interaction between the PCA and the ECB and it is important that those links are very strong. Hopefully we can build relationships with those guys and get our point across,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell will also link up again with his former Worcestershire team-mate and county chief executive David Leatherdale, who is now PCA chief executive.
"Daryl has been a PCA county representative for more than seven years and has a wealth of knowledge of the county game at all levels,” said Leatherdale.
“He is undoubtedly held in high regard by players across the whole country as today’s appointment shows and, combined with his experience as the players’ representative on the ECB Cricket Committee, he will bring a great deal to the role of PCA Chairman.”
Mitchell becomes chairman of the PCA at a time of significant change in English cricket with on-going discussions about the introduction of a new franchise-based T20 domestic competition.
“There is going to be big change ahead, not just for English domestic cricket but also on the world stage. These are interesting times,” Mitchell said.
“There is talk of a franchise Twenty20 competition and it would be good to be involved in the discussions surrounding that.
“It’s important that the questions of our 400-plus members about how it will all work are answered and that was the crux of my manifesto.”