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Surrey chief Richard Thompson named as the new England and Wales Cricket board chairman

Surrey chief Richard Thompson named as new England and Wales Cricket board chairman and pledges to restore confidence in game after racism scandals

  • Richard Thompson has been announced as the new ECB President
  • The 55-year-old has been chairman of Surrey CCC since 2011.
  • The ECB’s search for a new chair has been ongoing since the departure of Ian Watmore

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Surrey chief Richard Thompson has been appointed as the new chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Council.

The 55-year-old will leave his Surrey presidency to join the ECB on September 1, ending the organization’s 11-month wait to fill the position permanently.

Former FA chief Ian Watmore resigned in October 2021, while Martin Darlow has been interim chairman since April.

Richard Thompson has been named as the new chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Council

Richard Thompson has been named as the new chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Council

Thompson pledged to immediately restore confidence in the ECB after the racism scandals that have swept the sport over the past year.

“I am extremely proud to become ECB president in a hugely important moment for cricket,” said Thompson.

“Cricket has given me the opportunity to meet an incredibly diverse array of great people. Their passion, commitment and love for the game is what I want to harness, to take our game to new heights in England and Wales.

Cricket should be the country’s most inclusive sport, welcoming people from all backgrounds and bringing communities together. For those communities where we have fallen short, I will work tirelessly to restore their faith in the game.

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

Thompson (right) announced as ECB president after long search for replacement for Ian Watmore (left)

“With the Men’s and Women’s Ashes on the horizon, the Men’s ICC T20 World Cup in October and the recent successes in our red ball game, along with hosting the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in 2026, there’s a lot ahead of us.

“I look forward to using my experience and love for the game to seize this opportunity to give cricket a fresh start.

‘In addition to the ECB’s board and senior leaders, we will work with the provinces and the recreational game. Collaboration and partnership are the key to the future of our sport.’

Thompson has been chairman of Surrey for eleven years and has been instrumental in making it the most profitable of the English counties.

In addition to cricket, he is the founder and chairman of M&C Saatchi Merlin and chairman of the M&C Saatchi UK Group.

Azeem Rafiq revealed the racism he faced in Yorkshire during his playing days last year

Azeem Rafiq revealed the racism he faced in Yorkshire during his playing days last year

Azeem Rafiq revealed the racism he faced in Yorkshire during his playing days last year

Independent director Brenda Trenowden chaired the selection process, with the nomination committee unanimously recommending Thompson’s candidacy.

“We are pleased to announce Richard’s arrival as ECB President,” said Trenowden.

“His blend of exceptional commercial and cricket administrative experience supports our objectives to grow and diversify the game, guiding the game as we face challenging financial headwinds.

“On behalf of the ECB, I would also like to thank Martin Darlow for his excellent stewardship over the past few months.

“Cricket has faced many challenges in 2022 and Martin has helped steer the ship until Richard’s arrival, and I am pleased that he will continue to offer his invaluable wisdom and insight through his role as deputy chairman of the board.”

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