Andy Nash has resigned as a director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in protest over the emergence of compensation packages for the country’s Test match grounds.
Nash, the former chairman of Somerset County Cricket Club, has made the move following revelations made in The Times earlier this week.
The UK newspaper’s report stated that Test match venues are set to be granted between £500,000 (€558,000/$694,000) and £2.5m for the years in which they will not host games as part of the governing body’s new match allocation strategy.
The Times said all Test match venues except Lord’s and the Oval in London, which will stage Tests every summer during the five-year period spanning 2020 to 2024, are due to receive £500,000 for each year that they will not host a Test.
Under this system, Hampshire is set to be awarded £2.5m in compensation after its Ageas Bowl was not awarded a Test during this period. Emerald Headingley (pictured) in Leeds will host Tests in 2021, 2022 and 2023 meaning Yorkshire will receive £1m, while Warwickshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire are each set to gain £500,000 after Edgbaston, Emirates Old Trafford and Trent Bridge only missed out on one Test apiece over the five-year cycle.
The Times added that Glamorgan has already been awarded more than £1m in compensation for agreeing not to bid for any Tests at SSE SWALEC Stadium from 2020 to 2024.
Nash has now resigned from his ECB position, stating that the compensation agreement was made without the board’s approval or even knowledge. Somerset is one of the non-Test hosting counties and Nash said the compensation scheme “clearly signals to many a move to promote eight counties as the first among equals”.
“I’ve recently become concerned that the standards of corporate governance at ECB are falling well short of what’s acceptable and in all conscience I can’t allow myself to continue to be associated with it,” Nash wrote in a letter to ECB chairman Colin Graves reported by the ESPNcricinfo website.
“I would be failing in my duty as a director if I didn’t bring these to the board’s attention and this I’ve tried to do. The current fiasco over the actual / alleged / planned payments to TMGs (Test Match Grounds) is an exemplar. Whether intentional or not it clearly signals to many a move to promote eight counties as the first among equals. As an ardent supporter of the 18 FCCs (First Class Counties) this is not a direction of travel I can live with.
“It’s also come to my attention in the last 24 hours that my actions as a listening and conscientious NXD are sadly misunderstood and misinterpreted by yourself. I sincerely regret that because all I want is the best for the game and for good governance of the ECB.
“I wish English cricket every future success: it’s been an enormous privilege to serve this great game as a county chairman and ECB board director since 2004.”
ESPNcricinfo added that a county chief executive has called for an independent inquiry into the ECB’s compensation scheme following Nash’s resignation.