Lancashire: Mike Watkinson steps down as cricket director

Mike Watkinson
Watkinson scored more than 10,000 first-class runs and took more than 700 wickets during his playing career

Mike Watkinson has stepped down from his position as cricket director of Lancashire, ending his 32-year association with the Red Rose county.

The 53-year-old has held the role since 2008 but says he is "now looking forward to a fresh challenge".

His departure may clear the way for a revamp of the coaching structure at Lancashire, who were recently relegated to Division Two of the Championship.

Former England one-day coach Ashley Giles has been linked with the post.

Giles, 41, was previously director of cricket at Warwickshire, leading the Bears to the County Championship in 2012.

BBC Radio 5 live reporter Pat Murphy said: "Although Lancashire have been relegated I understand the post appeals to Giles, who's been out of work since losing his job as England's one-day coach in April.

Ashley Giles
Giles left his role as England's limited-overs coach following the World Twenty20 earlier this year

"Giles would be attracted by the opportunity to rebuild a major club on a Test match ground, a task he fulfilled with great success at Edgbaston for five years."

Lancashire captain Glen Chapple, 40, took temporary charge of the first team in April, combining the role with his captaincy duties after Peter Moores became England's head coach for a second time.

But Lancashire, who won the Division Two title in 2013, were unable to avoid relegation after a single season in the top flight.

Watkinson, who played four Test matches for England, served the county as a player, captain, coach and cricket director.

He was also part of the management staff which, in 2011, brought Lancashire their first outright Championship title victory for 77 years.

"After enjoying a long and successful career at Lancashire County Cricket Club, I am now looking forward to a new challenge and would like to wish all the players and staff at the club all the best for the future," said Watkinson.external-link

Mike Watkinson
Mike Watkinson won nine limited-overs trophies during his playing career with Lancashire