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England batting coach Mark Ramprakash

Ramps backing Kent boy Ed Smith in role as England selector

England batting coach Mark Ramprakash has welcomed the decision to appoint former Kent captain Ed Smith an international selector.

The former Middlesex batsman, who played 52 Test matches for England, says Smith will bring “a different flavour” to picking the England team.

Earlier this week, the Canterbury Journal reported that Smith, 40, had been chosen to replace former England and Leicestershire batsman James Whitaker as selector.

Ramprakash, who scored 2,350 Test runs at an average of 27, said: “Ed has a good history in the game.

“He played county cricket with Kent and Middlesex, he’s played Test matches and he has followed the game very closely in a media capacity as well.

Former Kent and England batsman Ed Smith

“I think he’s got some really good credentials. He knows what international cricket is about, he is familiar with the first-class structure and the players in it and, from a media point of view, he’s been detached somewhat so he can give an objective view from the outside.

“He will bring a different flavour to selection, which is what Andrew Strauss has wanted. But, of course, he’ll be consulting closely with those people around him.”

Smith, who has been working as a writer and Test Match Special commentator, has written about a statistics-driven approach to identifying talent.

“Stats are important and they can tell trends,” Ramprakash went on. “When selecting players the ECB has been very keen to make it a robust history of the players, with evidence of why they are selecting.

“Sometimes that’s not always easy when you are looking at character but certainly on performances – and on what type of surfaces against what type of attacks – that sort of evidence is very important.”

Smith will begin his new role in time for the first selection meeting of the summer on May 15 when the Test squad to take on Pakistan will be decided.

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