England news July 16, 2014

The possibles to lead English cricket

The ECB have appointed Brian Havill as acting chief executive in addition to his role as their finance director and company secretary. The move follows the announcement that David Collier is standing down as chief executive at the end of the season.

Havill has worked for the ECB since August 2000, having previously been commercial director of Pentland Group, a brand management British company, involved in the sports, outdoor and fashion markets. But he is not considered a serious contender to become the ECB's new chief executive, here George Dobell assesses the candidates.

Gordon Hollins (age 51)
The current chief operations officer of England cricket (he was appointed in March after several years in the role of managing director - professional game) is sure to be a strong candidate. Hollins, Scottish born and a member of the country's Under-23 and B sides, has spent several years as commercial director with Durham and has almost unrivalled knowledge and experience of the business of cricket in the domestic game and understands better than anyone the conflicting demands and responsibilities of the ECB. Respected by the ECB executive and the counties, he may be seen as a little too studious and low-profile by an organisation keen to improve its public relations. But if competence is the key requirement, Hollins will be hard to beat.

Wasim Khan (age 43)
The boy from the backstreets of Birmingham has developed into a highly personable, articulate and effective leader since becoming the first British-born Muslim to play county cricket. Wasim has been with the the Cricket Foundation since 2005 and is now its CEO and was previously a first-class player with Warwickshire, Sussex and Derbyshire. His critics will say he lacks experience of running a major business, but he has developed the Chance to Shine scheme into a £50m-a-year operation and has developed strong relationships in government (he sits on the Equality & Human Rights Commission Sports Group and The Prince's Trust Cricket Group) and business along the way. It is generally regarded as the best scheme of its type in the world and the model by which all others should be judged. Young, media savvy and well-respected as an ambassador for the game and man manager, Wasim possesses an enviable package of skills. He was awarded an MBE in 2013.

Steve Elworthy (age 49)
As an international cricketer with a strong record in administration - he was the key figure behind England successfully hosting the 2009 World T20 and the 2013 Champions Trophy - Elworthy has a strong CV and has to be considered a serious candidate. After four Tests and 39 ODIs for his native South Africa, Elworthy graduated to the role of commercial and communications manager for Cricket South Africa. He was appointed tournament director for the inaugural World T20 in South Africa and can be held partially responsible for the format's growth and popularity. He was appointed director of marketing and communications by the ECB in 2010, but that position was recently changed - some might say downgraded - to manager of global events and marketing. A lack of business experience also may be perceived as a weakness, though after the debacle of the 2007 World Cup, the successful staging of global cricket events should never be taken for granted.

David Smith (age 58)
The current chief executive of Northamptonshire should be an ideal candidate. A former first-class cricketer - he represented Warwickshire for more than a decade - he then enjoyed a successful career in business (he was a board member of First Leisure) before returning to cricket as CEO at Leicestershire and then Northants. Despite recent evidence, both sides strengthened on and off field during his watch. A man of strong opinions, though, he has antagonised a few on his way - he resigned from both the ECB's cricket committee and Leicestershire in protest at one thing or another - and might be seen as a threat to some. He is though, understood to be highly regarded by the ECB chairman Giles Clarke, and others who believe the ECB could do with a shake-up. He is far from certain to apply.

Richard Gould (age 44)
The favourite for the job. Gould, an approachable, open and relatively young man who would improve the ECB's public image, built a strong relationship with Clarke during his time as CEO of Somerset (2005-2011; Clarke was partially instrumental in his appointment) and, since moving to Surrey, has overseen a thriving off-field business which remains easily the most successful of the 18 first-class counties. The lack of success of the Surrey team is a stain on his record, though, as is the departure of Chris Adams and all the issues connected with it. A former officer in the British Army - he served in the 1st Royal Tank Regiment from 1990-2001 - who studied through the Harvard Business School and also spent time working in football (he was commercial director of Bristol City between 2001-2005), it might be noted he remains a friend of Kevin Pietersen and served in the army with his manager, Adam Wheatley. Very likely to apply; conspiracy theorists believe the job is already as good as his.

Colin Povey (age 53)
The Warwickshire chief executive is the man most responsible for the redevelopment of Edgbaston from decaying dinosaur to a stadium good enough to host the final of the ICC Champions Trophy. Tough but straight, Povey was previously CEO at Carlsberg and an international water polo player and coach, so he also has the desired track record in sport and business. One well-placed ECB source rated him "the favourite" for the role. But his relationship with Clarke is poor - Povey was one of those who met Lalit Modi during the years the counties considered a T20 franchise model based upon the IPL - while Warwickshire's indebtedness might not sit well in the eyes of some.

Warren Deutrom (age 44)
An excellent record in cricket administration renders Deutrom a serious candidate. He has been CEO of Cricket Ireland since December 2006, but was previously cricket events manager at the ICC (between 2002-2006) and the ECB (1998-2002). In that time, he has built up strong relationships with both organisations and he is much admired for the work he has done with Ireland. But whether his strong links with Associate cricket and cricket in Europe will do him many favours in the eyes of the recruiters remains to be seen. He has also worked in sales and in journalism.

Derek Brewer (age 55)
The current CEO of the MCC would be a strong candidate should he apply. Highly regarded for his integrity, his diligence and his decency, he oversaw the redevelopment of Trent Bridge having succeeded David Collier as chief executive in 2005 and won an impressive package of major matches for the ground. He moved to the MCC in April 2012 where he has continued the work of his predecessor in ensuring the old club's relevance in the contemporary game and sustaining the modernisation process. Life has not been easy, with a persistent group of critics biting at his heels and the ground redevelopment becoming an ever-more poisonous, political situation. He worked in banking for more than 20 years before moving into cricket and also represented Warwickshire second XI as an offspinner. Again, he is far from certain to apply and may feel he has a duty to push through many of the reforms he has begun at Lord's.

Hugh Morris (age 50)
Highly regarded at the ECB, Morris moved to Glamorgan only a few months ago after a long period as the first managing director of England cricket. While the move to Cardiff will no doubt boost his business experience, this opportunity surely comes too soon into his new role.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo