County chiefs have reportedly threatened to break away from the England and Wales Cricket Board after Tom Harrison’s resignation as CEO left the organisation with a leadership void.
Harrison will leave his post next month after seven years in the role and will be replaced on an interim basis by Clare Connor, the current managing director of England women’s cricket and MCC President.
The ECB is still without a chair after Ian Watmore stood down last October. They restarted the process of recruiting his replacement in April after deciding that “no single candidate was able to fully meet the criteria to become next Chair.”
Ron Kalifa, a non-executive director at the ECB, led the initial process but was widely tipped to get the job himself after the process was restarted. However, it has now been widely reported that Kalifa has now withdrawn from the race.
Martin Darlow is currently standing in as interim chair after Barry O’Brien, who initially stepped in after Watmore’s resignation, stood down due to ill health. And with the ECB set to be without both a permanent chair and CEO when Harrison leaves next month, the Telegraph is reporting that the counties are “not happy”.
At a time when the future of all 18 counties is under threat amid talk of widespread change to the structure of cricket and threats from the government about independent regulation, a senior figure at one side was quoted as saying by the Telegraph: “The counties are not happy.
“The inevitable conclusion is to say to the recreational game that the 18 counties are breaking away. Nobody wants that.
Stu Forster/Getty Images)
“We should be able to govern our game but the current constitution makes it extremely hard to do that. The board makes decisions, appoints execs and if the execs are running off in the wrong direction, it is a problem because we don’t have a board that knows cricket and knows when to pull them back in line. Independent board members are good in theory but the evidence has not played out.”
A chief executive at another county added: “English cricket is undoubtedly chaotic at the moment – and this will undoubtedly add to the chaos. There’s a load of s*** any new person would have to deal with.” Another county chief executive is quoted as saying the ECB is “not fit for purpose” and a “medieval court”.