David Richardson, the ICC’s chief executive since 2012, is to step down from the position after next year’s World Cup. He will move on at the end of his current contract, having overseen a period of great upheaval at cricket’s world governing body, with the process to find his successor set to begin immediately.
From the “Big Three” shake-up at the ICC – subsequently reversed – the reduction of the World Cup to ten teams, and the recent confirmation of an ODI league and World Test Championship, Richardson has been a steadying presence at an organisation well accustomed to change.
His tenure also coincided with rising commercial returns – the ICC in 2014 announcing a “significantly” increased eight-year TV rights deal with Star Sports – and the creation of two new Full Members, in Ireland and Afghanistan, although that has been accompanied by criticisms about the level of finance and opportunity afforded to those outside cricket’s traditional strongholds.
“The hardest thing as a cricketer is knowing when the time is right to retire,” said Richardson, who will turn 59 later this year. “But for me, the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup next year is about right. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the ICC and I am particularly pleased with what we have achieved in recent times in creating greater context for all formats of the game and securing increased opportunities and clear pathways for all members to play at the highest level.
“I will certainly do all I can over the next 12 months to ensure that we complete our work on the new global strategy for cricket aimed at growing the game both in our traditional and new markets, and, in particular put on a World Cup that does the game proud.
“I’d like to thank the ICC chairman and the current board of directors and member chief executives for their support and of course to my senior team and all of the ICC staff who are so dedicated to our great sport.”
A former South Africa wicketkeeper who became the ICC’s first general manager in 2002, Richardson was recommended as Haroon Lorgat’s successor due to his long experience at the organisation.
Initially working alongside a president, changes to the ICC’s constitution in 2014 saw the creation of a chairman; N Srinivasan, one of the architects of the “Big Three”, was the inaugural holder of the role, before his forced departure saw Shashank Manohar elected and the rolling back of several of the reforms initiated by India, England and Australia.
“On behalf of the ICC Board, I would like to thank David for his service and commitment to cricket over the past 16 years and, particularly, over the last six years as CEO,” Manohar said. “His achievements speak for themselves, but in recent history the commercial success of the sport, his leadership of the ICC team and establishing greater context for international cricket are of particular note.
“David will be missed by everyone in the game, but this is an opportunity for the ICC to drive forward our new global growth strategy, which David has played an integral part in developing, under new leadership. A global recruitment process will now get underway to identify the right person to lead the ICC.”