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Cricket Harrison steps down as ECB chief as sweeping changes continue at the top of English cricket

TOM HARRISON is stepping down as chief executive of the England & Wales Cricket Board as sweeping changes continue at the very top of the game.

Harrison will depart in June, with managing director of women’s cricket Clare Connor taking over while a long-term successor is recruited.

The news is the latest example of flux at the ECB, which is still without a permanent chair following Ian Watmore’s resignation in October, following an overhaul which has seen men’s director of cricket Ashley Giles, head coach Chris Silverwood and Test captain Joe Root all replaced since the turn of the year.

Harrison has proved a polarising figure at the head of the game since his appointment in 2014. The 50-year-old was a major architect of the controversial decision to launch The Hundred, an eight-team city tournament that continues to divide fans, has faced criticism over his organisation’s response to the racism scandal that erupted last year and drew fire for accepting a lucrative bonus in the aftermath of mass ECB redundancies.

Harrison, who enjoyed a brief first-class career with Derbyshire before moving into the field of marketing and media rights, made a splash when he helped secure a bumper TV deal for the 2020-2024 cycle. As well as topping the £1 billion mark, the new settlement also brought England matches back to free-to-air via the BBC for the first time in over 20 years.

He took a voluntary pay cut as cricket was hit by the pandemic in 2020 but risked squandering that goodwill when he and a group of senior management shared a lucrative bonus pot worth about £2.1 million despite a cost-saving round of 62 redundancies at the organisation.

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