Ian Watmore leaves the presidency of the ECB with immediate effect – .

Ian Watmore leaves the presidency of the ECB with immediate effect – .

Ian Watmore stepped down as President of the ECB with immediate effect after just over a year in this post.
Watmore, who had an almost as brief period as the managing director of the FA just over a decade ago, is said to have lost the confidence of the ECB and county board of directors after a demanding few weeks that saw England cancel its tour to Pakistan. and a failure to agree on a national timetable for the next two years.

The 63-year-old, who also recently resigned as the first civil service commissioner, is reportedly stepping down altogether. Current ECB vice-president Barry O’Brien will assume the interim presidency, but has indicated to the ECB’s board that he will not be running for the post. Instead, a process to find a successor will begin shortly.

Watmore, the first president to receive a salary for the role (£ 150,000 a year before expenses), could be forgiven for finding the job very different from what he expected. His tenure, which officially began on September 1, 2020, was defined by the battle to stage cricket in a time of Covid and saw the ECB make relatively large layoffs and come under severe financial pressure. In a statement issued by the ECB, Watmore alludes to certain “well-being” concerns – he had a heart problem by the time he left the FA and was reportedly fatigued by the relentless pressure of his stint at the ECB – and admits that the demands of the “taken on” job have a personal impact on him. It is understood that when the question of his future arose he was ready to step aside.

Although initially popular with the counties, who praised his gentle management style after years of more hardy characters like Giles Clarke and Colin Graves, Watmore seems to have lost confidence in recent weeks. It is understood that several counties contacted the ECB to voice their concerns after a meeting of county presidents at Lord’s last week in which it was described as somewhat confused. Several present at the meeting called him “chambolic”. The ECB was also stung by criticism of the decision to cancel the England tour in Pakistan which was taken by the ECB board chaired by Watmore.


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