Keith Bradshaw, the former Tasmania cricketer who became the first Australian secretary and chief executive of MCC, has announced he will be returning home for personal reasons after almost five years in the job.
Bradshaw, who became the club's 14th secretary when he joined in October 2006, played a key role in transforming the reputation of MCC, and on his watch the club has become one of the most progressive voices in world cricket.
Key initiatives have included the promotion of floodlit first-class cricket, through the development of a revolutionary pink ball that can be sighted against the night sky. The traditional curtain-raiser to the English season, MCC v Champion County, was in 2010 moved from Lord's to Abu Dhabi to help test the concept in a competitive environment.
In addition, the MCC Spirit of Cricket message has been widely promoted around the world - through a partnership with the Indian Premier League, as well as MCC's first sponsorship of international cricket, the neutral Test series between Pakistan and Australia, which was hosted at Lord's and Headingley last summer.
Also, funds were provided for numerous cricket projects around the world - such as in Afghanistan - and the MCC World Cricket Committee established itself as an influential voice in the world game.
"It is with considerable regret that the MCC Committee has accepted the resignation of Keith Bradshaw, confirmed Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the club chairman. "From his first day as secretary and chief executive, Keith has been a breath of fresh air at Lord's and he has made an outstanding contribution towards the high standing and role of the club both domestically and internationally.
"His open and positive attitude has been infectious to all those around him and he can be very proud of his numerous achievements at MCC. During his time here, Lord's has come to be seen not just as the home of cricket but as a welcoming place to all who love the game.
"We are very sorry that changing family circumstances have led him to decide he must return to Australia but the committee completely understands and respects Keith's reasons. I shall shortly be writing to all members of the club with further details but suffice it to say he will be much missed by all of us at MCC and we wish him well for a successful future back in Australia."
Bradshaw said: "Following the recent loss of my mother, I am returning to Australia for family reasons. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club working with the committee, members, staff and the many cricket bodies around the world. My five years at Lord's have been very special and I will leave with many treasured memories; it has been a great honour and privilege to serve the club.
"I have no doubt that MCC will continue to go from strength to strength as an innovative, independent voice in world cricket, which guards the Laws and Spirit of Cricket with great knowledge and passion. I will be proud to wear the Club tie down under and I look forward to returning to Lord's - the best ground in the world - in the years to come."
Bradshaw will hand over his duties in October and will continue to be available in an advisory capacity until the end of the year. Colin Maynard, the current deputy secretary, will serve as acting secretary & chief executive.
The committee will now look to appoint an international executive search firm to find Bradshaw's successor. A small group of committee members will co-ordinate this process. Led by Oliver Stocken (MCC Chairman), the group will also include Christopher Martin-Jenkins (President), Justin Dowley (Treasurer), Phillip Hodson (President Designate), Anthony Wreford (Trustee) and Mike Griffith (Chairman of Cricket).