Tom Harrison is stepping down as chief government of the England and Wales Cricket Board because the sweeping modifications proceed on the very prime of the sport.

Harrison will depart in June, with managing director of girls’s cricket Clare Connor taking up on an interim foundation whereas a long-term successor is recruited.

The information is the newest instance of flux on the ECB, which continues to be with out a everlasting chair following Ian Watmore’s resignation final October, following an overhaul which has seen males’s director of cricket Ashley Giles, head coach Chris Silverwood and Check captain Joe Root all changed because the flip of the yr.

Harrison has proved a polarising determine on the head of the sport since his appointment in 2014.

The 50-year-old was a serious architect of the controversial determination to launch The Hundred, an eight-team city match which continues to divide followers, has confronted criticism over his organisation’s response to the racism scandal which erupted final yr and drew fireplace for accepting a profitable bonus within the aftermath of mass ECB redundancies.

On the flip facet, he supplied sober management throughout the darkest days of the coronavirus pandemic and helped preserve the present on the street at a time when grimmer outcomes appeared attainable and delivered the document £1.1billion broadcast deal in 2017.

Tom Harrison stated: “I’ve put the whole lot into this position, however I imagine now’s the correct time to usher in contemporary vitality to proceed this work.”

In an announcement confirming his exit, Harrison stated: “It has been an enormous honour to be CEO of the ECB for the previous seven years. Cricket is a rare power for good on this planet and my aim has been to make the sport greater and guarantee extra individuals and extra communities in England and Wales really feel they’ve a spot on this sport.

“The long-term well being of cricket depends upon its capability to develop and stay related and be extra inclusive in an ever-changing world.

“The previous two years have been extremely difficult, however we’ve pulled collectively to get by means of the pandemic, overcome cricket’s greatest monetary disaster, and dedicated to tackling discrimination and persevering with the journey in the direction of changing into the inclusive, welcoming sport we attempt to be.

“I’ve put the whole lot into this position, however I imagine now’s the correct time to usher in contemporary vitality to proceed this work.”

Launching The Hundred was a key a part of Harrison’s tenure. (ECB Handout)

Harrison, who loved a short first-class profession with Derbyshire earlier than transferring extra efficiently into the sphere of promoting and media rights, made a splash when he helped safe a bumper TV deal for the 2020-2024 cycle. In addition to topping the £1billion mark, the brand new settlement additionally introduced England matches again to free-to-air through the BBC for the primary time in over 20 years.

The pursuits of broadcasters had been key to his staunch advocacy of The Hundred, which had a profitable launch yr in 2021 however has so far did not shake sceptics who fear a few corrosive affect on the broader county sport.

Harrison appeared to supply hard-working stewardship of the sport throughout the preliminary Covid interval, with the ECB averting catastrophic money losses by internet hosting a full summer season of ‘bio-secure’ cricket in 2020 at a time when a scheduling wipeout appeared attainable.

He took a voluntary pay reduce at the moment, however risked squandering that goodwill when he and a bunch of senior administration shared a profitable bonus pot value round £2.1million regardless of a cost-saving spherical of 62 redundancies on the organisation.

Clare Connor will take over as interim CEO of the ECB (Jacob King/PA).

Harrison’s place then got here beneath menace when Azeem Rafiq’s parliamentary look put the difficulty of racism – and sport’s response – into the highlight.

He vowed to deal with the matter head on final November, when an all-game motion plan was introduced to enhance inclusivity in any respect ranges. Seeing that by means of shall be a key accountability of his successor.

Interim ECB chair Martin Darlow paid tribute to Harrison, including: “Tom has been an impressive CEO and deserves our honest thanks for all he has achieved in his time on the ECB.

“When the pandemic struck, it was Tom’s management that introduced the sport collectively and saved us from the worst monetary disaster the game has ever confronted. He has at all times put the pursuits of the sport first and labored to steer essential change to make our sport extra accessible and inclusive, although everyone knows there may be nonetheless far more work to do.”

Author: Londonlad

Leave a Reply