The ECB have confirmed that Ed Smith has been appointed as England national selector, replacing James Whitaker in a revamped structure.

A statement said Smith’s appointment is “part of a new approach to scouting, assessing and selecting players for the senior men’s Test, T20 and one-day sides, ensuring greater connection right through the international pathway.”

Smith will appoint a full-time independent England selector to work alongside him and Trevor Bayliss.

“Beneath them,” the statement said, “a scouting system with designated discipline-specific scouts will work to ensure comprehensive coverage of the domestic game and the talent pathway.”

Smith, who had worked as a journalist and commentator on Test Match Special, said: “I’m delighted to take on the role of national selector. I was very happy with what I was doing previously but the chance to be at the forefront of this development in English cricket was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“Selection and Talent ID have always fascinated me and I’ve explored extensively how they are evolving.

“It is an exciting time for England cricket. I’m very much looking forward to working with Trevor, Joe and Eoin, as we work towards ensuring that the talent in English cricket feeds into consistent performances in all formats of the game.”

Director of England cricket Andrew Strauss said: “We’re excited about the changes we’ve made to our talent identification and selection structure. It’s about us getting better quality information, and making sure our decision-making is as clear and robust as possible.

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“Ed stood out as an ideal candidate for the role for a number of reasons. There is real depth to his talent identification knowledge and he’s done a great amount of research into the subject.

“He has a rich and varied sum of experiences having played professional cricket for 12 years and having written extensively on cricket and other sports. As well as this he has a strong academic interest in high performance and excellent knowledge of the international game.

“Ed will come to this role with fresh ideas and his input will help us implement a structure that we hope can become world-leading, not just in cricket but in sport generally.”