The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have named Tom Harrison as their new chief executive. Harrison will replace the outgoing David Collier, who quit the role last month.
The 42-year-old, who plied his trade with Derbyshire in his playing days, does not take charge until January, but at this rate he will be walking into an unsettled ECB.
The Board has been rocked by Kevin Pietersen’s accusations of “bullying’ in the England camp, and has now been forced to deny claims that a leaked document was in fact a dossier of KP’s allegedly divisive behaviour during the 2013/2014 Ashes series, which England lost 5-0.
Pietersen’s autobiography, released on Thursday, has certainly caused a stir which the ECB will find difficult to contain, particularly during a transitional period at the top over the last 12 months: Peter Moores took over from Andy Flower as head coach, and Paul Downton became managing director after Hugh Morris left to take up a role at Glamorgan.
Shoes to fill
2015 could be a make or break year for England, who need to quickly regain momentum after such a traumatic year. It will also include an Ashes series, but thankfully for Harrison, Collier has laid firm foundations for him to build on.
The timing of his appointment means he will also have to contend with an ICC World Cup just months into his reign, and England’s performance in that could have a big impact on his spell at the helm.
Harrison faces a difficult task in replacing Collier, who led the ECB for a decade in which England won the Ashes four times and reaches number one in the Test rankings. The Three Lions also won a World T20 Cup in that time.
Honoured and privileged
42-year-old Harrison told the BBC: “I feel extremely honoured and privileged to have been offered this opportunity.”
“I am a passionate supporter of the game across all formats, at all levels, and I am genuinely excited by the substantial opportunities that the game has moving forward in this country.”
Upon the news of his appointment, ECB chairman Giles Clarke, with whom he will be working closely, added: “He was the unanimous choice of the interview panel, who were impressed with his energy and passion for the game.”
“Tom has a proven track record of success in his career to date.”