Paul Downton

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Paul Downton
Personal information
Full name Paul Rupert Downton
Born (1957-04-04) 4 April 1957 (age 60)
Farnborough, London
Batting Right-hand bat
Bowling Right-arm off-break
Relations George Downton (father)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 488) 13 February 1981 v West Indies
Last Test 30 June 1988 v West Indies
ODI debut (cap 41) 23 December 1977 v Pakistan
Last ODI 23 May 1988 v West Indies
Domestic team information
Years Team
1977–1979 Kent
1980–1991 Middlesex
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODIs FC LA
Matches 30 28 314 297
Runs scored 785 242 8,270 3,349
Batting average 19.62 16.13 25.13 22.62
100s/50s 0/4 0/0 6/45 0/9
Top score 74 44* 126* 80*
Balls bowled 0 0 55 0
Wickets 1
Bowling average 9.00
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 1/4
Catches/stumpings 70/5 26/3 690/89 281/64
Source: CricInfo, 31 May 2017

Paul Rupert Downton (born 4 April 1957) is the current Director of Cricket at Kent County Cricket Club. He had previously been the managing director of the England and Wales Cricket Board between February 2014 and April 2015.

He is a former English professional cricketer who played in 30 Test matches and 28 One Day Internationals for the England cricket team between 1977 and 1989. He was a wicket-keeper who played for Kent County Cricket Club from 1977 to 1979 and for Middlesex between 1980 and 1991.

Life and cricket career[edit]

Downton was born at Farnborough in metropolitan Kent in 1957. He attended Sevenoaks Prep School, Sevenoaks School and the University of Exeter. He obtained a law degree, a coaching certificate and earned international honours at youth level in both cricket and rugby union.[1]

His father, George, had played briefly for Kent in the post-war period and Downton's early county cricket career was with the same county. Kent shared the 1977 County Championship and won the completion outright in 1978 but Downton became frustrated deputising for Alan Knott in the 1979 season 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".[2] 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.[2]

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.[1]

A trustworthy, affable and resourceful team member, Downton played a starring role in Middlesex's successes in the 1980s.[1] The cricket journalist and Downton's former Middlesex teammate 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."[2] Hughes argues that Downton's calm personality, even when dealing with a 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[edit]

Downton's cricket career ended in 1991 when he failed to recover from a freak eye injury. A bail lodged in his eye when he was standing up to the stumps during a Sunday League match at Basingstoke in 1990.[1]

After retiring from cricket, he became a stockbroker with James Capel and Cazenove & Co, having been "partly immersed in the City"[2] 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.[3] He left the role on 8 April 2015.[4]

Kent announced his appointment as Director of Cricket on 18 January 2018.


  1. ^ a b c d Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. pp. 54–55. ISBN 1-869833-21-X. 
  2. ^ a b c d 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. 
  3. ^ "ECB names Paul Downton as new managing director in reshuffle". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "ECB: Paul Downton leaves ECB role after dismal World Cup". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 

External links[edit]

Paul Downton at ESPNcricinfo