Alec Stewart has announced that he will be temporarily stepping aside as Surrey’s director of cricket. The former England captain, who has held the position since 2015, cited personal reasons for his decision.
Stewart, who is one of England’s most decorated cricketers, made his debut for the national team in 1989 and went on to play 133 Test matches, 170 One Day Internationals, and 8 Twenty20 Internationals. He captained England in 31 Tests and 59 ODIs.
After retiring from playing in 2003, Stewart turned to coaching and has held various positions at different clubs. He was the assistant coach for the England team from 2009 to 2010, and also served as the head coach of Surrey from 2013 to 2015 before taking on the role of director of cricket.
Surrey chairman Richard Thompson said that Stewart had made a “huge contribution” to the club during his tenure as director of cricket. “We are sorry to see Alec step aside temporarily, but we fully respect and understand his decision,” Thompson said. “We will support Alec through this time and look forward to his return to the club in due course.”
In the meantime, Surrey have appointed former England batsman Graham Thorpe as interim director of cricket. Thorpe, who played 100 Tests and 50 ODIs for England, has previously held coaching positions at the England Cricket Board and the Marylebone Cricket Club.
“We are delighted to have Graham take on this role on a temporary basis,” Thompson said. “His experience and knowledge of the game will be invaluable to us as we continue to strive for success on and off the pitch.”
Stewart’s departure from his role as director of cricket comes at a challenging time for Surrey, who are currently eighth in the County Championship Division One table. However, with Thorpe now at the helm, the club will be hoping to turn things around and climb up the rankings.
While Stewart’s temporary departure is a blow to Surrey, the club will be hoping that he will be able to return to his role as director of cricket in the near future. In the meantime, they will be looking to Thorpe to guide them through this difficult period and help them regain their form.