Angus Fraser has stepped aside from his role as director of cricket at Middlesex as part of a restructuring of management at the club. Fraser will move to overseeing the academy and county age-group squads, with men's team head coach, Stuart Law, now reporting directly into the chief executive.
Fraser took over at his old club as managing director of cricket in 2009, having spent several years as the cricket writer at the Independent, and saw the club lift the County Championship in 2016 for the first time since his playing days in the early 1990s.
However, Middlesex were relegated the following season and struggled to adapt to life back in the second tier. Several members of the title-winning side have moved on, including Dawid Malan and Nick Gubbins in recent seasons, while success in limited-overs cricket has also been sporadic. This summer, Middlesex finished bottom of Group Two of the Championship, with one win from ten, and second-bottom of the Vitality Blast South Group.
Fraser said that the recent challenging period had "taken its toll", but was proud of his record in bringing through homegrown players - with six academy graduates given their first-team debuts over the last two seasons.
"I have been enormously proud to hold the role I have with this great club, but the time is right for change," he said. "I have found the last 16 months incredibly challenging on and off the field of play, and I could not have given more or shown more care for the club than I have, but it has taken its toll on me.
"We all know that results this season have not been good enough, but I believe there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future. In the last few years Middlesex have chosen to invest in and develop its own home-grown cricketers, which can be seen from the teams that have represented the club. It is the right thing for a club like Middlesex to do and something we should be proud of.
"These young men are benefitting enormously from the opportunities they are being given and I believe a number of them will become fine cricketers; players that will represent Middlesex and England with pride and will entertain cricket lovers for many years to come.
"It is with a heavy heart that I step aside from this position, and I would like to thank all those that have helped and supported me over the years. I still believe I have a huge amount to give Middlesex Cricket and I look forward to helping the club in any way I can."
Law started work under Fraser in 2019, but saw the club finish eighth in Division Two in his first season and there has been minimal progress since. They won two games out of five in the Bob Willis Trophy last year, and finished fourth in the truncated Blast South Group, before results dipped again.
The club has also experienced financial difficulties owing to the pandemic and the discovery of a historical administrative error in paying pension contributions. Richard Goatley, Middlesex's chief executive since 2015, stepped down last month due to ill health.
Andrew Cornish, Middlesex's acting chief executive, said: "There is no hiding from the fact that performances on the pitch over the past couple of seasons have not met the expectations of the players, the coaches, the board and most importantly our members.
"Like many organisations we face challenging financial times due to the pandemic, so never has it been more important to nurture homegrown local talent, whilst making strategic external signings. The board and I believe this new structure will provide the focus and clarity the club needs at this time.
"I would like to personally thank Angus for all he has done for Middlesex Cricket to this point, for his commitment to the role and for his dedication to the club, and I am very much looking forward to continuing to work closely with him as we move forward."