London [UK], October 24 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Richard Gould as its new Chief Executive Officer on Monday.
Mr Gould, 52, will take up the post at the end of January, moving from his current role as CEO of Bristol City Football Club.
He brings significant leadership experience from major organisations across sport, having served as CEO at first Somerset County Cricket Club and then Surrey County Cricket Club before taking up his current role in 2021.
The Nominations Committee unanimously recommended Mr Gould to the ECB Board who ratified the decision on Friday. Clare Connor will continue as Interim CEO until Mr Gould's arrival in a statement released by ECB.
As CEO, Mr Gould will work to deliver the vision set out by ECB Chair Richard Thompson to make cricket the most inclusive sport in the country. At Surrey, he was instrumental in the launch of the ACE Programme in 2020, which is now an independent charity designed to engage a new generation of children and young people from Black communities within the recreational game and talent pathway.
Richard Gould said, "I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead our game forward in England and Wales as part of a talented and committed team that encompasses the ECB, every cricket club in the land, all the counties, our partners, sponsors, fans and the army of players and volunteers that support the game in every corner of our country.
"Cricket is a national asset that can be played by all and helps strengthen and enhance communities across the nation. It can inspire the country and provides opportunities for all. But we have also seen the pain suffered by those who have experienced discrimination. We are determined to repair this damage and show that cricket can become the most inclusive and welcoming sport of all.
"I look forward to taking up the role in the new year, but for now will be an armchair fan supporting our men's team in the T20 World Cup in Australia, whilst the women prepare for their T20 World Cup challenge in February."
Richard Thompson, ECB Chair, said, "When I joined the ECB, I said that this was a reset moment for our organisation and our sport. Recruiting a CEO who can lead the organisation forwards and deliver on the vision of becoming the UK's most inclusive sport was one of the first important steps in that. With his outstanding leadership skills and experience of managing transformation, the Nominations Committee felt that Richard Gould was an outstanding candidate.
"I am looking forward to working with Richard to not only bring our game together but to show how cricket can do so much more in bringing communities together. We will work in a spirit of collaboration and partnership with the whole cricket network to do this.
"I'd also like to express my sincere thanks to Clare Connor who has done an outstanding job as Interim CEO at an incredibly challenging time for the organisation. I look forward to her continuing to play a leading role in growing our game as part of the ECB's leadership team when Richard joins."
Martin Darlow, ECB Deputy Chair, said, "This has been a thorough and rigorous process in which as Deputy Chair I've been involved from start to finish, and the Nominations Committee was in universal agreement that Richard Gould was the outstanding candidate. He demonstrated a clear understanding of the importance of working with the whole game to overcome the challenges we face and to grow our game and broaden participation through delivery of our Inspiring Generations strategy. I'm looking forward to working with Richard when he joins."
A former tank commander in the British Army, Gould was Commercial Director of Bristol City between June 2001 and June 2005 before joining Somerset County Cricket Club for five years as CEO and then moving to the Kia Oval. (ANI)