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Richard Thompson has been named the chair of the ECB for the next five years. Thompson, currently chair at Surrey CCC, will start in his new post on September 1, filling a vacancy which had lasted for nearly a year.
Thompson was the unanimous choice of the nominations committee, headed by independent director Brenda Trenowden. He will succeed Martin Darlow, who has been the interim chair since April and will continue as deputy chair of the board.
The position has been vacant since Ian Watmore stepped down in October 2021, paying the price for the ECB's decision to pull out of a scheduled tour to Pakistan at short notice.
"I am immensely proud to become Chair of the ECB at what is a hugely important time for cricket," Thompson said in a statement. "Cricket has given me the chance to meet an incredibly diverse range of amazing people. Their passion, endeavour 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 and 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."
Trenowden said: "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."
Steve Elworthy, Surrey's chief executive, said: "Everyone at Surrey County Cricket Club would like to congratulate Richard on his new role. The sport couldn't be in better hands.
"Throughout his time at our club, his passion for cricket has been clear for all to see. Richard has a strong vision for the future of cricket, one which will gather support from across the game and beyond. Richard has led a period of extraordinary transformation at Surrey and his contribution as Chair of our club has been outstanding.
"Our Treasurer Martin Eadon will step into the role of Chair from September 1 while we conduct the process of appointing Richard's successor, but for now the Club would like to record our appreciation to Richard for the incredible impact he has had at Surrey."