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Surrey chairman Richard Thompson set to be handed the hot seat at the ECB

Richard Thompson is named the new ECB president – with the forthcoming appointment of the Surrey chief putting an end to their years-long search after the departure of Ian Watmore

  • Richard Thompson expected to be announced as the new ECB President
  • The ECB’s search for a new chair has been ongoing since the departure of Ian Watmore
  • Thompson has been chairman of Surrey CCC since 2011
  • The manager has played a pivotal role in Surrey’s successes over the past decade

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The ECB’s long search for a new chair will end with the appointment of the highly experienced Richard Thompson.

Thompson, 54, has been one of the best and most progressive administrators in the English game in conceiving, along with former chief executive Richard Gould, the rise and rise of Surrey to become the largest and most successful county in English cricket.

And he decided earlier this summer that the time was right for him to try and swap the role of chairman of the Oval for the ECB after a long and failed recruitment process following the resignation of Ian Watmore last October in the face of England’s refusal. to travel through Pakistan.

The word is that Thompson plans to go radical as ECB president at a pivotal moment in the game's history

The word is that Thompson plans to go radical as ECB president at a pivotal moment in the game’s history

Ian Watmore resigned last year after just over 12 months in the role

Ian Watmore resigned last year after just over 12 months in the role

Richard Thompson was the key figure behind the Surrey juggernaut's success on and off the pitch

Richard Thompson was the key figure behind the Surrey juggernaut's success on and off the pitch

Richard Thompson (R) announced as ECB president after long search for a replacement for Ian Watmore (L)

Now, after four interviews, the ECB’s nomination committee will announce next week the appointment of the proven business expertise of Thompson, group chairman of the M&C Saatchi entertainment group, ahead of interim chairman Martin Darlow.

Thompson will have a huge task on his hands to take over at a time of unprecedented turmoil and division over the future direction of the domestic game.

But he was the overwhelming choice of the provinces who believe he can bridge the growing gap between those who want to keep the existing system and protect top-class cricket and those who have bet the future of the game on the Hundred.

As Surrey chairman Thompson opposed the controversial The Hundred competition

As Surrey chairman Thompson opposed the controversial The Hundred competition

As Surrey chairman Thompson opposed the controversial The Hundred competition

Thompson was one of the few leading figures in English cricket to resist the introduction of the controversial new league before Surrey gave in and came on board in the form of the Oval Invincibles. Now he is believed to accept that he should just let the Hundred work after it was confirmed for the next three years in the ECB’s new broadcasting agreement

Thompson will also join Andrew Strauss in completing his high-performance review on the English game that promises radical change but has caused considerable trepidation among cricket fans and even England captain Ben Stokes.

The chairman role is envisioned as a three-day-a-week job, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Thompson, whose interest in the position was revealed by Sportsmail in May, gives up his other interests to take it full-time.

He could also try to revive his successful partnership with Gould by luring him out of his new role at Bristol City to become CEO of the ECB in place of Tom Harrison.

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