Richard Thompson confirmed as new ECB chair

The Surrey chairman replaces interim chair Martin Darlow and will begin his five-year term on September 1

Richard Thompson has been appointed as the new chair of the ECB.

The Surrey chairman, long considered the choice of the counties, replaces interim chair Martin Darlow. The position has been vacant since October 2021 when Ian Watmore stepped down.

Thompson, 55, will begin his five-year term on September 1 and was unanimously recommended by the nominations committee.

Under his leadership, Surrey have established themselves as one of the top sides in county cricket. Off the field, he has overseen the launch of the ACE Program – an independent charity designed to engage Black communities in recreational cricket and talent pathways – in 2020 and the redevelopment of the Kia Oval.

Commenting on his appointment, Thompson said: “I am immensely proud to become chair of the ECB at what is a hugely important time for cricket


Ian Watmore (left) stepped down as chair in July 2021 [Harry Trump/Getty Images]

“Cricket has given me the chance to meet an incredibly diverse range of amazing people. Their passion, endeavor and love for the game is what I want to harness, to take our game forward, to new heights across England & Wales.

“Cricket should be the most inclusive sport in the country, welcoming people from all backgrounds, helping bring communities together. For those communities where we have fallen short, I will work tirelessly to restore their trust in the game.

“With the men’s & women’s Ashes on the horizon, ICC Men’s 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 is much ahead of us.

“I am looking forward to using my experience and love for the game in taking this opportunity to give cricket a fresh start. Alongside the board and senior leaders at the ECB, we will work with the counties and the recreational game. Collaboration and partnership will be the key to our sport’s future.”

Selection panel chair Brenda Trenowden added: “We are delighted to announce Richard’s arrival to the ECB as chair. His blend of exceptional commercial and cricket administration experience supports our aims to grow and diversify the game whilst guiding the game as we face challenging financial headwinds.

“I’d also like to say many thanks, on behalf of the ECB, to Martin Darlow, for his excellent stewardship in recent months. Cricket has faced many challenges in 2022 and Martin has helped steer the ship until Richard’s arrival, and I’ m pleased that he’ll continue to provide his invaluable wisdom and insight through his role as deputy chair of the board.”

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