England and Wales Cricket Board
|England and Wales Cricket Board
|Founded||1 January 1997|
|Location||Lord's Cricket Ground|
|Chief Exec||Tom Harrison|
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. It was created on 1 January 1997 combining the roles of the Test and County Cricket Board, the National Cricket Association and the Cricket Council. Like many sports governing bodies in the United Kingdom it is a company limited by guarantee, a legal status which enables it to concentrate on maximising its funding of the sport rather than making a return for investors. The ECB's head offices are at Lord's Cricket Ground in London. Although the organisation is the England and Wales Cricket Board, it is referred to as the ECB not the EWCB as a result of a decision taken in the run-up to the launch of ECB in January 1997 by those from within the game given the task of overseeing the transition from the previous bodies from which ECB was formed.
Plaid Cymru have argued that Wales should have its own international cricket team and pull out of the existing arrangement under which Welsh players can play for England, AMs were told during a National Assembly plenary debate, but the proposal has aroused strong opposition from Cricket Wales and Glamorgan County Cricket Club, who argue such a move would be financially disastrous. The debate focused on a report produced by the Assembly’s petitions committee, which reflected the passionate arguments on both sides. Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on heritage, culture, sport and broadcasting, and a member of the petitions committee, said: "Cricket Wales and Glamorgan CCC say the idea of a Welsh national cricket team is ‘an emotive subject’. Of course having a national team is emotive. You only have to look at the stands during any national game to see that. To suggest this as anything other than natural is a bit of a misleading argument. "Wales is the second longest cricket playing country in the world, yet it is alone in the British Isles in not having its own national side. Even Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have their own teams. "Rugby and football players get to grow up dreaming of playing for Wales. But for those who love cricket there is no Welsh team to dream of playing for or to support. That’s why I want to see us establish a national cricket team for Wales, so that Wales can stand on a world stage alongside the other nations, in the same way as we can do in all other sports." 
The ECB is governed by representatives of the 38 first-class and minor counties and the MCC. It is headed by the Management Board (with fifteen members), a First-Class Forum (for first-class cricket) and a Recreational Forum. The ECB's chairman is Giles Clarke of Somerset. On 16 July, Brian Havill was appointed acting Chief Executive Officer replacing David Collier.
An important responsibility is the direction of the England national side. The Chairman of Selectors, head coach and other coaches are ECB employees. The ECB also employs the English Test match captain and other centrally contracted players, as well as being responsible for the ECB National Academy, currently based at Loughborough University in Leicestershire.
The ECB is responsible for the financial direction and commercial exploitation of England cricket. It raises revenue from the proceeds of sales for tickets at One Day International and Test matches in England and Wales and shares in revenues when the English team play abroad. The ECB is also responsible for the generation of income from the sale of sponsorship and broadcasting rights, primarily in relation to the English team. The ECB's income in the 2007 calendar year was £93.0 million, up from £77.0 million in 2006. In 2007 the ECB distributed £31.6 million in "fee payments" to the eighteen first class counties, or £1.75 million per team. This subsidy is an essential source of income for the counties. It also pays certain costs of the domestic cricket programme directly, including the salaries of first class umpires and the cost of temporary floodlights at county matches.
In 2005 the ECB concluded a commercial arrangement with BSkyB which gave Sky Sports the exclusive television rights for live Test cricket in England and Wales for four years (the 2006 to 2009 seasons). This deal, which took live Test cricket for home English matches away from terrestrial television for the first time generated substantial future revenues for English and Welsh cricket (220 million pounds over 4 years), but was criticised by many England cricket supporters and others. In 2007 Asian rights for live English cricket were sold to ESPN Star Sports for a period of 5 years for 40 million pounds, which is 5 times the previous figure.
The ECB courted further controversy in 2005 when they appeared to dither over the employment contract of the bowling coach Troy Cooley who was seen by many as an important contributor to England's Ashes success. Cooley left the England setup and joined Australia's staff.
In January 2014, Andy Flower stepped down as head coach and Kevin Pietersen had his central contract terminated in a confidential settlement following England's just completed Ashes series loss (0-5) in Australia.
Each historic county in England has an ECB County Cricket Board (though Rutland shares a board with neighbouring Leicestershire, and Westmorland and Cumberland are replaced by Cumbria, a ceremonial county created in 1974). Wales has a single cricket board, called Cricket Wales.
Major domestic competitions
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- Berry, Scyld; Hoult, Nick (1 February 2014). "England and Wales Cricket Board must break the bank if they are to lure Gary Kirsten to become coach". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Ltd. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- A History of Women's Cricket
- Tennant, Ivo (26 September 2007). "It is important the England side and captain set the right tone". The Times (London). Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Cooley blames ECB for departure". BBC News. 17 December 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Hopps, David (4 February 2014). "Pietersen's England career over". ESPN CricInfo. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- ECB County Cricket Boards, List of
- Cricket Wales