Daryl Mitchell is to take up a new role with the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), whilst continuing to play both four-day and T20 cricket for Worcestershire.
Mitchell will end his four-year term as PCA Chairman at the February 25 AGM and take up a newly created post as Director of Cricket Operations.
The long-serving opening batsman will be available for both County Championship and Vitality Blast cricket whilst, during the period earmarked for the 50-over Royal London Cup, Mitchell will focus primarily on his new PCA duties.
Mitchell then hopes to extend his playing career into 2022 if he continues to perform to a high level and the move works for both Worcestershire and the PCA.
The newly created PCA Cricket Department will focus on all cricket matters, in the men’s and women’s professional game.
The five-strong team will continue to work with members on areas including; contractual and commercial rights, domestic structures, insurance, and operational elements of the Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) and England Women’s Player Partnership (EWPP).
The cricket department will manage relationships with agents and management companies.
Mitchell confirmed: “I am staying on with the PCA as Director of Cricket Operations, initially part-time this summer. I am still going to play red-ball cricket and will be available for T20 as well.
“During the Royal London Cup I am going to be out and around the counties and Hundred venues in the PCA role.
“I’ve made no secret of my desire to continue with an administrative role within sport, so I’m thrilled to be staying with the PCA, and grateful to everyone at Worcestershire for allowing me a flexible playing schedule from 2021 onwards to do so.
“I look forward to continuing to score runs in red-ball and contributing in T20 cricket as I combine my playing and off-field roles.
“I’m excited about it. I’ve picked up a lot of experience and knowledge about the inside workings of the game over the last four years and beyond that.
“Throughout my cricket career, I’ve always paid attention to what is going on off the pitch and what is going on around the game.”
PCA Chief Executive, Rob Lynch, said: “Nobody in the game has a better knowledge and understanding of the issues our members currently face than Daryl, so I am pleased we have managed to retain his services as our new Director of Cricket Operations.
“It is important that we do not lose Daryl’s experience and ability as a leading voice in the game.
“I would also like to add my gratitude to Worcestershire County Cricket Club for their understanding and cooperation in allowing Daryl to contribute to the game both on and off the pitch next season.”
Daryl still has a large appetite for the game and is keen to remain a part of Worcestershire’s plans going forward.
He said: “I want to carry on playing, particularly red-ball cricket, where I still feel I’ve got a lot to offer.
“The Bob Willis Trophy went pretty well last summer – but at my age, you’ve got to keep performing.”
“If I do well this year and the PCA and Worcestershire are both happy for me to continue playing, then I’m more than happy to do that. That’s certainly the goal, and it’s up to me to make sure I fulfil both roles very well.”
Mitchell admits his four years as PCA Chairman have been “interesting to say the least” with being involved in negotiations over the County Partnership Agreement and The Hundred, but also facing up to the challenges encountered with COVID-19.
He said: “From an experience and knowledge point of view, it’s probably been the best time. I’ve learnt so much and been involved with so much high-level stuff within the game and domestic cricket.
“It has been a fabulous experience and something I will look back on fondly and hopefully acquitted myself well in the various aspects I’ve been asked to deal with.
“What has been the most demanding? The most stressful has been COVID-19. There was the new broadcast deal and the CPA and the things that came in like minimum salaries. Even The Hundred was of benefit to players and their careers.
“But with the COVID-19 situation, you are talking about pay cuts and the financial difficulties of the game. Managing the situation was the one time I had sleepless nights over things.”