|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (April 2011)|
|Full name||Paul Rupert Downton|
4 April 1957 |
Farnborough, Kent, England
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Source: Cricinfo, 1 January 2006|
Paul Downton (born Paul Rupert Downton, 4 April 1957, Farnborough, Kent) is a former English cricketer, who played in thirty Tests and twenty eight ODIs from 1977 to 1989. He was a wicket-keeper and a useful batsman in the lower middle-order. He played his county cricket for both Kent and Middlesex.
Cricket correspondent, Colin Bateman, noted, "Downton was unfortunate to have to pick up the gaunlets thrown down by Alan Knott and Bob Taylor. They had worn the wicketkeeping gloves with artistry in their hands, and any successor was liable to suffer by comparison. And so it was for Downton, although he was a much better 'keeper than many gave him credit for".
Life and cricket career
Downton attended Sevenoaks Prep School, Sevenoaks School and the University of Exeter. He obtained a degree in law, a certificate in coaching and earned international honours at youth level in both cricket and rugby union. His early county cricket career was with Kent. However, he became frustrated filling in for Alan Knott when on international duties, and moved to Middlesex in 1980. On arrival, he has been described by a teammate there as 'an intelligent, dapper individual...who did not immediately seem to fit with the rather cruder, laddish Londoners in the team.'. On his first-class debut with Middlesex, the captain, Mike Brearley, chose to use Downton as an opener, and the two registered an opening partnership of 160. Downton tasted Test cricket for the first time in the West Indies that winter. He was dropped after the first Test against Australia in the summer of 1981 and had to wait until the summer of 1984 for further such honours, when he was picked at home to bolster England's batting options against the West Indies. It began an uninterrupted twenty-three match run in the national team.
A trustworthy, affable and resourceful team member, Downton played a starring role in Middlesex's successes in the 1980s. The cricket journalist Simon Hughes has described Downton as 'gracious, encouraging, unfailingly polite, a diplomat. The kind of chap...who would offer the bailiffs a glass of sherry if they turned up unannounced.' Hughes argues that Downton's calm personality, even when dealing with difficult colleague, was a significant factor in Downton's success as a player and stand-in captain at Middlesex while Brearley was absent playing for England.
Post cricket career
Downton's cricket career ended when he suffered a freak eye injury, in which a bail lodged in his eye when he was standing up to the stumps. He subsequently became a stockbroker at Cazenove & Co, having been 'partly immersed in the City' by the time of his accident.
On 16 October 2013, Downton was appointed to the position of Managing Director of the England and Wales Cricket Board with effect from 1 February 2014. He replaced Hugh Morris who resigned to become chief executive and managing director of Glamorgan County Cricket Club.
Downton now lives in Sevenoaks, Kent, with his wife Ali Downton. They have two children; Phoebe, born 1987 and Jonty, born 1989. Both are now studying at the University of Exeter.
- Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. pp. 54–55. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
- Hughes, Simon (19 October 2013). "England have picked a diamond in decent, dignified and debonair Paul Downton as managing director". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- "ECB names Paul Downton as new managing director in reshuffle". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2014.