Ian Watmore has stepped down as a chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) with an immediate effect. Being contracted for five years, Watmore, under pressure, has left the post just after completing almost a year.
His resignation has come after 16 days of England tour of Pakistan cancellation citing mental well-being of players as the reason. Notably, ECB abandoned sending its men and women team to Pakistan after New Zealand called off the tour quoting security threats.
Later, Watmore disappeared as fans demanded a 'valid' reason and statement from the ECB end. Days after he marked his public appearance, he apologized to Pakistani people and cricket but slams seem ever-green.
Notably, his resignation is a big blow to the board as there are only 10 days left for the first big event in the COVID pandemic, ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
It is speculated that amidst the criticism he is getting on the tour cancellation synopsis, he had no option but to hang up his boots as a chairman.
Barry O'Brien, the interim person, who is now the next candidate to resign from ECB, has already cleared that he is not available to take over the chairman post. The board will start the succession process soon to find out the nominee.
Ian Watmore added,
“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.
“On a personal level, I also retired last month after five years at the Civil Service Commission and recently became a grandfather. I would now like to retire completely from work and enjoy our great game as a spectator.”