London: Angus Fraser is to join a new three-man England selection panel at the start of next month, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Wednesday. Former Test seamer Fraser will work alongside national selector James Whitaker and England's limited-overs coach Ashley Giles, with his first task in his new role to help select the squads for the limited overs and Test series at home to Sri Lanka starting in May.
However, Fraser will also continue in his 'day job' of director at cricket at Lord's-based county side Middlesex -- the club where he spent his entire 18-year first-class career as a player. Fraser said he was pleased to be taking on his new role despite "the doom and gloom" surrounding the England team following their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia and the ensuing furore over the ECB's decision to end the international career of star batsman Kevin Pietersen.
"I am chuffed to be involved and am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead," said Fraser, who in 46 Tests took 177 wickets at an average of under 28 apiece.
"As a player I always took great pride in representing England and I am delighted to be given another chance to contribute," added Fraser, whose career as an England player from 1989-1998 was sometimes blighted by the whims of the selectors.
"Despite the doom and gloom after this winter's Ashes, I believe it's a really exciting time to be involved in the England set up," the 48-year-old explained.
"There is a real chance to create something and there are a lot of talented young cricketers within the county game," said Fraser, a former cricket correspondent of the Independent, a British daily national newspaper.
However, he stressed his England role wouldn't detract from his ambition to improve the standing of Middlesex, who finished fifth in the First Division of the County Championship last season. "This new position will not affect my desire to turn Middlesex into the most competitive and respected club in the country," Fraser said.
Former England batsman Whitaker welcomed Fraser's appointment by saying: "Gus has been heavily involved in cricket for many years as a player and an administrator. "He brings integrity and the wealth of knowledge that we will need as we look to identify the players across all formats who can thrive in the international environment."