The ECB is closing in on the identity of their new chief executive after David Collier left the organisation on Tuesday after a decade in the role.

Interviews for the position have taken place in the last few days, with Richard Gould, the Surrey CEO, understood to be among a shortlist of three. The other two candidates are both understood to currently have jobs outside the world of cricket administration.

That means that the likes of Gordon Hollins, the ECB's current chief operations officer, and Steve Elworthy, the ECB's current manager of global events, have been informed they will not be given the position.

While Gould is believed to remain the favoured candidate of current ECB chairman, Giles Clarke, there is increasing speculation that Clarke's vice-like grip on the organisation is weakening and Gould is not as well supported by other key figures. Indeed, the support of Clarke might even be perceived as a disadvantage in some quarters.

There is growing expectation that Clarke, who was first elected to the post in 2007 and remains widely feared in the English game, will not seek re-election in the Spring of 2015. While Clarke is expected to remain involved in cricket administration, it is anticipated that his role will focus far more on the ICC and the challenges facing the global game.

He is already chairman of the ICC's finance and commercial affairs committee and the ECB is empowered to nominate for the role in the future.

Colin Graves, the Yorkshire chairman and current deputy chairman of the ECB, is the overwhelming favourite to assume the ECB's chairman role.

Meanwhile Angus Porter, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, is also expected to step down in the next 12 months. Johnny Grave, the commercial director of the organisation, is among the favourites to replace him, though Vikram Solanki is also a contender for the role.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo