England and Wales Cricket Board
|Founded||1 January 1997|
|Affiliation||International Cricket Council (ICC)|
|Chief Exec||Tom Harrison|
|Men's coach||Trevor Bayliss|
|Women's coach||Mark Robinson|
|Sponsor||Natwest, Kia, Royal London, Specsavers, Vitality, Toyota, Hardys Wine, Greene King, Yorkshire Tea, New Balance, Rubicon, Veuve Clicquot, Barrington, T.M. Lewin|
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 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.
Structure and role
The ECB is governed by representatives of the 18 First Class counties, 21 non-First Class boards, the MCC and the Minor Counties Cricket Association. It is headed by the Management Board and a Recreational Forum. As of the end of the 2016 season, the ECB's chairman is Colin Graves of Yorkshire and the Chief Executive Officer is Tom Harrison.
An important responsibility is the direction of the England national side. The National Selector, 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 National Cricket Performance Centre, 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. 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.
Subject to certain exceptions, each historic county in England has either an ECB County Cricket Club or Cricket Board as below. The first-class counties are represented directly at the ECB, whereas the minor counties retain a Cricket Board.
- Bedfordshire Cricket Board
- Berkshire Cricket Board
- Buckinghamshire Cricket Board
- Cambridgeshire Cricket Board
- Cheshire Cricket Board
- Cornwall Cricket Board
- Cumbria Cricket Board
- Derbyshire County Cricket Club
- Devon Cricket Board
- Dorset Cricket Board
- Durham County Cricket Club
- Essex County Cricket Club
- Glamorgan County Cricket Club
- Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
- Hampshire County Cricket Club
- Herefordshire Cricket Board
- Hertfordshire Cricket Board
- Huntingdonshire Cricket Board
- Isle of Wight Cricket Board
- Kent County Cricket Club
- Lancashire County Cricket Club
- Leicestershire County Cricket Club
- Lincolnshire Cricket Board
- Middlesex County Cricket Club
- Norfolk Cricket Board
- Northamptonshire County Cricket Club
- Northumberland Cricket Board
- Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club
- Oxfordshire Cricket Board
- Shropshire Cricket Board
- Somerset County Cricket Club
- Staffordshire Cricket Board
- Suffolk Cricket Board
- Surrey County Cricket Club
- Sussex County Cricket Club
- Cricket Wales
- Warwickshire County Cricket Club
- Wiltshire Cricket Board
- Worcestershire County Cricket Club
- Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Rutland shares a board with neighbouring Leicestershire, an echo of the 18th century Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Club. Hampshire as such has two boards given that the Isle of Wight has its own. Westmorland and Cumberland are replaced by Cumbria, a ceremonial county created in 1974. An additional board exists for the whole country of Wales and is incorporated within the ECB.
Most counties have clubs which are members of either the County Championship or the Minor Counties Cricket Championship. Rutland and the Isle of Wight do not have county clubs and are wholly integrated for that purpose with Leicestershire and Hampshire respectively. Huntingdonshire County Cricket Club has a chequered history and now plays informal matches only. Cumberland and Westmorland originally shared Cumberland County Cricket Club as a joint county club. It is now representative of Cumbria as a whole and plays matches in both of the two traditional counties; there has never been a club called Westmorland.
Status of Wales
Historically, the ECB represented 'Great Britain' in international cricket, and sporadically fielded a Scottish or Welsh national team. Following Ireland's membership in 1993, Scotland became an independent member of the ICC the next year.
With Welsh players pursuing international careers exclusively with an England team, there have been a number of calls for Wales to become an independent member of the ICC, or for the ECB to provide more fixtures for a Welsh national team. However, both Cricket Wales and Glamorgan County Cricket Club have continually supported the ECB, with Glamorgan arguing for the financial benefits of the Welsh county within the English structure, and Cricket Wales stating they are "committed to continuing to play a major role within the ECB"
The absence of a Welsh cricket team has seen a number of debates within the Welsh Senedd. In 2013 a debate saw both Conservative and Labour members lend their support to the establishment of an independent Welsh team.
In 2015, a report produced by the Welsh National Assembly’s petitions committee, reflected the passionate debate around the issue. Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on heritage, culture, sport and broadcasting, and a member of the petitions committee, argued that Wales should have its own international team and withdraw from the ECB. Jenkins noted that Ireland (with a population of 6.4 million) was an ICC member with 6,000 club players whereas Wales (with 3.2 million) had 7,500. Jenkins 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."
In 2017, the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones called for the reintroduction of the Welsh one day team stating: "[It] is odd that we see Ireland and Scotland playing in international tournaments and not Wales."
Major domestic competitions
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