Full name Ian Charter MacLaurin
Born March 30, 1937, Greenwich, London
Current age 79 years 253 days
Also known as Baron MacLaurin of Knebworth
A thin, sombre-suited executive, with waspish features and a permanently furrowed brow, Ian MacLaurin started his career as a 22-year-old management trainee in 1959, and rose to become the chairman of one of Britain's most successful supermarket chains. But MacLaurin - later Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth - found that the business acumen acquired in a 30-year career at Tesco counted for little in the archaic world of English county cricket. When he was appointed chairman of the ECB on its creation in 1997, his quest was to transform a committee-run shambles into an organisation capable of carrying the game into the 21st century. And indeed, he had his moments - by the time he announced he would step down in 2002, the County Championship and the one-day league had been divided into two divisions (MacLaurin had originally proposed a three-conference scheme that Wisden Cricket Monthly famously condemned as "barmy"), and the creation of the central-contracts system and the Academy had put in place the foundations of a competitive and successful national side. He had also overseen a rise in board income of almost £30million, with £7million a year being pumped into grass-roots development. As a diplomat, however, MacLaurin could be hopelessly naïve; both in his dealings with the counties, who frustrated him to the bitter end with their intransigence, but especially internationally. His greatest embarrassment came during England's winter tour of 2000-01, when he infuriated the Pakistanis by demanding that any player accused of match-fixing be removed from the national side, only to be reminded that Alec Stewart had himself been implicated by India's central bureau of investigation. He won few friends abroad, but that was never his brief - MacLaurin's first priority was to put England's own house in order. He eventually admitted defeat, but not before making his mark.
Chairman of the England & Wales Cricket Board 1997-2002