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Mark Nicholas steps down from Southern Brave board ahead of MCC executive role

Former Hampshire captain is in favour of Lord's taking central role in London Spirit

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
21-May-2024
Mark Nicholas, the incoming president of MCC, pictured ringing the five-minute bell during a Test at Lord's, England vs New Zealand, Lord's, May 22, 2015

Mark Nicholas, the incoming MCC chair, pictured ringing the five-minute bell during a Test at Lord's  •  Getty Images

Mark Nicholas has left his role as chair of Southern Brave's board. His decision to step down comes as he prepares to take over as Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) chair, at a time when the club - who are proprietors of Lord's - could become majority owners of London Spirit.
Nicholas, who captained Hampshire during his playing career, is a close friend of the club's ex-chair Rod Bransgrove. He was appointed chair of Southern Brave - who are run jointly by Hampshire and Sussex - in 2019 ahead of the Hundred's launch, but has now stepped down from that role in recognition of his growing involvement with MCC.
Southern Brave filed paperwork to Companies House last week stating that Nicholas has resigned as a director of the company. An MCC spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo: "We can confirm that Mark has left his role as chair of Southern Brave. There aren't currently any plans for him to join the board of London Spirit."
Nicholas has been MCC president since last year, and will take over as chair in October. He has been prominent in the club's communication with its members around the imminent changes to the ownership model of Hundred teams, which is expected to see the ECB hand 51% stakes to their hosts - in London Spirit's case, MCC.
MCC has discussed the possibility of owning a stake in London Spirit with its members since late last year and Chris Rogers, the club's treasurer, is chair of a 'Hundred working group'. Nicholas has expressed his interest in MCC becoming majority owners, telling members he likes the idea of the club coming together to support a single team under its banner.
The global profile of Lord's means that London Spirit is expected to be the most lucrative team when the ECB invites bids later this year. MCC may consider using a potential windfall as an endowment for the MCC Foundation, to invest in the club's museum, and to continue to improve the facilities at Lord's, with approval recently granted for a £61.8 million redevelopment of the Allen and Tavern Stands.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98