Surrey appoint the ECB’s Steve Elworthy as new Chief Executive

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Steve Elworthy with Prince Charles (Getty Images)
Steve Elworthy with Prince Charles (Getty Images)

Surrey have announced the appointment of the ECB’s Steve Elworthy as Richard Gould’s successor as Chief Executive.

Gould left Surrey earlier this summer for Bristol City, the Championship football club, after a decade in charge at the Kia Oval.

Charlie Hodgson, his right-hand man, took over on an interim basis, but has been pipped to the job by Elworthy, the former South African bowler who has an impressive record in cricket administration.

Hodgson will return to his position of Managing Director of the Oval, although it would be little surprise if he were to leave the club in the near future, which would be a considerable loss.

Elworthy, 56, is an appointment of considerable cache, however. His professional career lasted 14 years, including four Tests and 39 ODIs for South Africa after readmission, and spells in county cricket with Northamptonshire and Lancashire.

Upon retirement he moved into administration, working for the ECB and Cricket South Africa in senior roles in marketing, communications and commercial. He was in charge of seven global events, the last of which was the 2019 men’s World Cup in England.

After that he returned to the ECB in the new role of Managing Director: Events and Special Projects, in which he helped work on the Hundred and created the biosecure bubbles that allowed cricket to be played behind closed doors during the pandemic.

“I have been incredibly lucky to have worked closely with Surrey CCC over the years, especially when hosting major global cricket tournaments,” he said. “Surrey is the biggest club in the country and to be offered the opportunity to work with Richard Thompson and the Board, the Surrey team and players is a huge honour.

“The club is steeped in history and has deep-seated roots in the community, and I look forward to taking over the fantastic work already put in place, driven by my predecessor Richard Gould and brilliantly supported by Charlie Hodgson, in the interim.

“Having played at The Oval when representing South Africa in the 1999 Cricket World Cup, I am looking forward to getting back to cricket and working with the women’s and men’s teams. Cricket, on and off the field, has been part of my life since I can remember, and its values and camaraderie have helped shape my drive to keep this amazing sport healthy and vibrant – I am truly excited about the opportunities ahead.”

Elworthy’s departure is a blow to the ECB, although they will hope for more cordial relationships with the most financially powerful county, with whom they have clashed over the Hundred in recent years.

“Steve has done so much in his time at the ECB, we’ll miss him hugely,” said Tom Harrison, the ECB CEO. “He has played a huge part in the development of cricket in England and Wales over so many years, including the success of major events like the ICC Women’s and Men’s Cricket World Cups in 2017 and 2019 and The Hundred this year.

“Over the past 18 months his work has been crucial in enabling us to play cricket through the Pandemic. He has a vast knowledge and understanding of cricket in this country and internationally, and is a man of great integrity who cares passionately about the game.

“Steve has been a good and trusted friend and while I am very sad he will be leaving, I am delighted for him personally. Surrey is a great club, they deserve the very best and in Steve they have it.”

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