England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Ian Watmore has decided to step down from his role with immediate effect. Notably, he leaves the post after serving for just around 10 months as it was in December last year when he had officially taken the charge. He was assigned the duties for five years, however, the work took a "personal toll" on him and the consequences saw him stepping down.
The news was shared on social media from ECB's official Twitter handle wherein the county's apex cricket governing body informed that the decision was taken on mutual consent from both the parties and that Watmore would be stepping down following the end of England's domestic season.
The board & I feel the ECB will be better served by a new chairman: Watmore
Explaining the reason behind his move, Watmore said: "It is with regret that I step down as Chair of the ECB, but I do so in mindfulness of my own wellbeing and that of the game which I love. I was appointed to the post in a pre-pandemic era, but Covid has meant the role and its demands on time are dramatically different to all our original expectations, which has taken a personal toll on me. Given this, the Board and I feel the ECB will be better served by a new Chair to take it forward post pandemic. Leaving now, at the end of the season, gives the Board time to find a new Chair to support cricket through the challenges of the 2022 season and beyond."
Barry O’Brien to be the interim chairman of ECB
Current deputy chairman of ECB, Barry O’Brien, will take over the duties tentatively in the absence of Watmore. Meanwhile, O’Brien thanked Watmore for his contributions though the post in the past 10 months that was heavily affected by COVID-19. "We are grateful to Ian for everything he has contributed during his time at the ECB. He has helped guide the game through an incredibly challenging period, where despite the impact of Covid we were able to stage a busy summer of men’s and women’s domestic and international cricket... We wish him the best for the future," said O’Brien, adding that a process to appoint new chairman would start soon.