Sir Andrew Strauss will leave his role as strategic adviser to the England and Wales Cricket Board after his suggested reforms to the cricketing calendar failed to win favour among counties.
The former Ashes-winning captain, long seen as one of the most respected voices in the game, is to relinquish the influential role at the governing body seven months after overseeing the publication of a wide-ranging high performance review.
Commissioned in the aftermath of the 2021/22 Ashes rout, the report made 17 recommendations designed to improve English cricket at the highest levels, but the most contentious aspects – reformatting the County Championship and reducing the overall amount of first-class and T20 Blast matches – met with insurmountable resistance. A domestic schedule that Strauss deemed unwieldy and counter-productive lives on as he heads for the exit door.
Strauss, who previously served as director of men’s cricket and resumed those responsibilities on an acting basis last year, had indicated that he saw the proposals as a make-or-break moment and has now signalled his intention to leave the ECB at next month’s AGM. He had also chaired the performance cricket committee.
While he was once the most influential voice on cricket matters at the ECB, particularly under Tom Harrison’s reign as chief executive, the arrival of Richard Gould in that role, Richard Thompson as chair and Rob Key as director of men’s cricket have diluted that status.
There are sure to be offers to continue his broadcasting career or continue his administrative career elsewhere, while he was once tipped to take a tilt at political office. In the meantime, he continues to front the Ruth Strauss Foundation – the non-smoking lung cancer charity he set up in honour of his late wife.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the ECB and am proud of having contributed to a successful period for our England teams,” Strauss said.
“With increasing commitments outside of the organisation, sadly I’ve decided it’s time to step away from my current role. I wish the new board all the very best as it continues in its mission to grow our game.”
Thompson paid tribute to the 46-year-old, saying: “Andrew has given outstanding service to English cricket over many years in a number of different roles. I’ve greatly valued the advice and expertise he has provided in my time as chair, and have enjoyed working with him.
“We are currently implementing the vast majority of recommendations from his impressive high performance review, which I believe will help our England men’s teams to sustain their success. I have no doubt he has much more to contribute to the game and hope he will return in the future.”
Chief operating officer David Mahoney is also on his way out, standing down in September. Meanwhile, four new non-executive directors arrive on three-year terms.
Glamorgan chair Gareth Williams steps down from his present role to join the board, alongside the chair of Cricket Wales, Jennifer Owen Adams, Conservative peer Baroness Zahida Manzoor and PGA European Tour director Penny Avis.
“It gives me great pleasure in welcoming Zahida, Jennifer, Penny and Gareth onto our board. They are all exceptional leaders with demonstrable strategic experience and expertise across a range of different fields, and are all passionate about our sport,” said Thompson.
“The ECB is privileged to be able to call upon their knowledge, communication skills, integrity, judgement, and independence.”