June 28, 2022

Tom Harrison ‘is stepping down as ECB chief executive’

BREAKING NEWS: Tom Harrison steps down as ECB chief executive as English cricket’s period of upheaval continues… with Clare Connor replacing him on an interim basis

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English cricket’s period of upheaval continued with a shock twist on Tuesday morning after it emerged Tom Harrison is stepping down as chief executive of the ECB.

 Harrison will be replaced by Clare Connor, the former England captain and current managing director of women’s cricket, on an interim basis. 

It comes after Rob Key took over as director of cricket and appointed Ben Stokes as Joe Root‘s replacement as captain of the Test team. Brendon McCullum has since taken over as coach of that side.

Tom Harrison is stepping down as chief executive of the ECB after being in the role since 2014

Harrison has been in the role since 2014 and earlier this year, vowed to remain in his post and help to usher in a new era for English cricket.

‘When times are really difficult you need people to step into that challenge and I am here to do that. I have never been more determined to do that. I am not running away from the challenge,’ said Harrison, back in February.

‘It has been exceptionally difficult but I am not running away because it needs leadership and some consistency in terms of how we build back to a place where the game can recover from an extremely difficult period both on and off the pitch.’

In April, it emerged Harrison and a handful of ECB colleagues would share a £2m bonus after a year where cricket in England was rocked by the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal. 

Harrison has proved a polarising figure at the head of the game since his appointment in 2014 and his tenure will be forever linked to the controversial launch of The Hundred.

The long-term success, or otherwise, of the eight-team city tournament has yet to be determined but Harrison was one of the architect’s and biggest advocates of a change which continues to split cricket fans.

Harrison's tenure as ECB chief executive will be linked to the introduction of The Hundred

Harrison's tenure as ECB chief executive will be linked to the introduction of The Hundred

Harrison’s tenure as ECB chief executive will be linked to the introduction of The Hundred

Harrison, who enjoyed a brief first-class career with Derbyshire before moving more successfully into the field of marketing and media rights, helped deliver a broadcast deal worth more than £1billion in 2017.

He also oversaw the ECB’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, though some of the goodwill he earned for his handling of that turbulent period and his own decision to take a voluntary pay cut dissipated when he accepted a large bonus earlier this year.

He and a group of senior management shared a pot worth around £2.1million based on a long-term incentive plan, drawing criticism due to the 62 redundancies made by the governing body as a result of Covid-19.

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