FORMER County and current Ombersley cricketer Matthew Rawnsley will be the new chief executive at Worcestershire.

The 41-year-old replaces Tom Scott, who is standing down after nearly two years at Blackfinch New Road, and starts on March 1.

Worcestershire say Rawnsley will bring vast commercial and cricketing experience to the role following 15 years in high-performance sales, marketing and operational businesses as well as from nearly a decade as a professional player with the club.

Rawnsley, a slow left-arm spinner for the County who made 46 first-class and 54 List A appearances in his nine-year career until 2002, was chosen after an extensive selection process.

The County received more than 130 applications which was reduced to a shortlist of four with the help of Peter Tucker, a specialist in sport recruitment from Novo Executive Search.

Worcestershire chairman Stephen Taylor, vice-chairman Tim Curtis, audit chairman Fanos Hira and County board members Meriel Harris and Andrew Manning-Cox conducted the interviews while skipper Joe Leach also met the final group of candidates.

For the last five years, Rawnsley has been managing director of Barnes Group (UK) Ltd, together with other Barnes Group Inc subsidiaries in Europe, and achieved success in the multi-million pound, multi-national business.

Prior to this, he worked in business development and sales roles at Caterpillar and BTE Plant Sales.

Birmingham-born Rawnsley has also established strong community links as a member of the Institute of Directors, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Worcestershire Ambassadors.

During his playing career, he also turned out for Herefordshire and has continued to play Birmingham League cricket for Ombersley alongside Worcestershire's Brett D'Oliveira and Ben Cox.

The County say Rawnsley's cricketing background will prove invaluable in forging strong links with their flourishing playing side as Leach works to establish the team in Specsavers County Championship Division One in 2018.

His knowledge and experience will also aid the search for a new head coach which is under way after the departure of long-serving director of cricket Steve Rhodes.

Taylor said: "We are delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew as the new CEO of Worcestershire CCC.

"It has been a lengthy and extensive process and we were greatly impressed with the standard of applicants but we believe Matthew is the right man for the CEO post and he brings very relevant commercial experience as well as strong cricket experience as a former player of the club.

"The appointment builds on the first-class work that Tom, the outgoing CEO, has performed in his two years at the club.

"Matthew inherits an exciting team and a club well set to continue to grow — on and off the pitch.

"The future is exciting in all areas of this great cricket club and we feel Matthew can help us to continue to grow."