Worcestershire opening batsman and former captain Daryl Mitchell has been elected as the new Chairman of the Professional Cricketers’ Association. Mitchell, 33, came out top in a ballot of all current county cricketers in England and Wales and his appointment is due to be ratified at the PCA annual general meeting in Birmingham on February 21st.
Mitchell will serve for an initial two-year term and will succeed Mark Wallace, the former Glamorgan wicketkeeper who was due to stand down, having served the maximum of two terms of office, before he announced his retirement from county cricket to become a PCA Personal Development Manager with responsibility for Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Somerset.
There were four other candidates – Graham Onions (Durham), Paul Horton (Leicestershire), James Hildreth (Somerset) and Steven Crook (Northamptonshire) – in a closely-contested election for the Chairmanship. Mitchell said: “It was pretty competitive and there were some really good lads who went for it ,so to be elected by your peers from other clubs is very pleasing.
“It’s a prestigious role and it has been done very well in recent years by Vikram Solanki, who I know very well from his time at Worcestershire, and then Mark Wallace, who has done a fantastic job over the last four years. It’s a big role and a big honour and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“I have been involved with the PCA as a county representative since 2009 so I have had a heavy involvement so I know about the fantastic work that they do. I have enjoyed being involved as a representative so this is the next step really. I want to try to get involved at the coal face of the organisation.”
Mitchell is the third Worcestershire player to become PCA Chairman after Tim Curtis (1989-96) and Solanki (2009-13) and he takes charge in the Association’s 50th Anniversary season. The PCA was formed by Fred Rumsey, another former Worcestershire player who was then playing for Somerset, at a meeting in London in November 1967.
Mitchell is already a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s cricket committee having replaced Warwickshire captain Ian Bell as players’ representative last year. He said: “I already sit on the ECB cricket committee and, hopefully, that experience and the skills that I have developed over the years will help me in the role as Chairman of the PCA. “I’ve got to know people at the ECB. There is a lot of interaction between the PCA and the ECB and it is important that those links are very strong. Hopefully we can build relationships with those guys and get our point across.”
Mitchell will also link up again with his former Worcestershire team-mate and county Chief Executive David Leatherdale, who is now PCA Chief Executive. He said: “Daryl has been a PCA county representative for more than seven years and has a wealth of knowledge of the county game at all levels. “He is undoubtedly held in high regard by players across the whole country as today’s appointment shows and, combined with his experience as the players’ representative on the ECB Cricket Committee, he will bring a great deal to the role of PCA Chairman. “I very much look forward to working with Daryl again over the coming years.”
Mitchell becomes Chairman of the PCA at a time of significant change in English cricket with on-going discussions about the introduction of a new franchise-based T20 domestic competition. He said: “There is going to be big change ahead, not just for English domestic cricket but also on the world stage. These are interesting times. “There is talk of a franchise Twenty20 competition and it would be good to be involved in the discussions surrounding that. “It’s important that the questions of our 400-plus members about how it will all work are answered and that was the crux of my manifesto.”
Mitchell was born in Badsey and educated at Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham and at Worcester University. He is a product of Worcestershire’s Academy and became the first Worcestershire-born captain of the county since 1925 when he succeeded Solanki in 2010 and held the role for six years. Mitchell made his Second XI debut in 2002 and his senior bow three years later. He has since scored 10,294 runs in 164 first-class matches with 24 centuries. He has also scored 2,787 runs in List A cricket and 1,872 in Twenty20 cricket.
Mitchell’s medium pace bowling has been particularly effective in white ball cricket, bringing him 132 wickets across the formats. He was awarded a benefit by Worcestershire last year and nominated the PCA Benevolent Fund as one of his charities. Mitchell recently signed a new four year contract at New Road until the end of the 2020 season.