England cricket revamp continues as Tom Harrison steps down as chief executive officer

Controversial figure will leave in June after more than seven years in role

Tom Harrison has stepped down as England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive. AFP
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England cricket underwent more changes on Tuesday with Tom Harrison stepping down as chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Harrison will leave in June after more than seven years in the role and Clare Connor, who is currently managing director of England Women's Cricket, will take over until a permanent successor has been appointed.

"It has been a huge honour to be CEO of the ECB for the past seven years," Harrison said.

"The past two years have been incredibly challenging, but we have pulled together to get through the pandemic, overcome cricket’s biggest financial crisis, and committed to tackling discrimination and continuing the journey towards becoming the inclusive, welcoming sport we strive to be.

"I have put everything into this role, but I believe now is the right time to bring in fresh energy to continue this work.”

Harrison's departure is the latest in a series of major changes at the heart of English cricket.

Since the start of the year, men's director of cricket Ashley Giles, head coach Chris Silverwood and Test captain Joe Root have all been replaced, with the ECB chair currently vacant as well.

Giles and Silverwood paid the price for a poor run in Test cricket that saw England win just one of their past 17 matches, a sequence that included a 4-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia.

Robert Key replaced Giles as managing director of the men's team last month and Brendon McCullum was recently appointed as England's Test team coach.

Root stepped down from his position after the 1-0 series defeat in the West Indies and was replaced by Ben Stokes last month.

Harrison has proved a polarising figure at the head of the game since his appointment in 2014 and his tenure will be forever linked to the controversial launch of The Hundred.

The long-term success, or otherwise, of the eight-team city tournament has yet to be determined but Harrison was one of the architects and biggest advocates of a change that continues to divide cricket fans.

Harrison helped to deliver a broadcast deal worth more than £1billion in 2017.

Updated: May 17, 2022, 10:38 AM