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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
ECB chief confirms departure
ECB chief executive Tim Lamb
I feel that after nearly eight years in the role I have probably taken the ECB as far as I can

Tim Lamb has confirmed he is to leave his job as chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Lamb will step down in September after holding the post since the ECB came into being in January 1997.

"It's a high intensity role that has demanded my total focus and commitment for a considerable period of time now.

"I still feel that I have plenty to offer, but I think now is the time to stand aside before I risk losing any of my motivation or enthusiasm," he said.

"I believe that cricket as a sport has a new vibrancy about it and has taken some significant steps forward at all levels in recent years. I hope that's the generally held view among those who follow and support the game."

He added: "There are some important tasks to complete over the next four months, including the delivery of a world class ICC Champions Trophy tournament on behalf of the international community in September.

"Then I shall feel ready to move on and let others build on what has been started."

Introduction of central contracts for key England players
Creating two divisions for County Championship, with relegation and promotion
Making English cricket a "business," with extra revenue streams opened up
Establishing the Academy at Loughborough

Lamb, 51, has been under intense pressure over his handling of the Zimbabwe crisis.

The ECB has still not decided whether October's tour to Zimbabwe will go ahead and Lamb's critics believe he should have resolved the matter at a much earlier stage.

But England remain in a no-win situation and seem set to fulfil the tour despite intense pressure to pull out because of the threat of a 1m fine and a possible ban from the International Cricket Council.

Lamb's real critics were the first-class counties, who, critical of his delaying tactics over Zimbabwe, have had their fears heightened by an ECB investigation into domestic cricket.

It argued that the one-day league competition should be incorporated into the County Championship to make up one competition of two divisions.

Lamb was said to be insulted when the various county chairmen instantly dismissed the notion.

John Carr
John Carr is the establishment choice as a possible successor

During his tenure - with Lord MacLaurin as chairman until 2002 - the ECB successfully introduced central contracts and an improved England team structure.

He also helped establish the Academy at Loughborough and made county cricket more competitive with promotion and relegation.

ECB chairman David Morgan, whose own positioned has also been questioned, paid tribute to Lamb's record of achievements.

"He will leave behind a solid base on which his successor will be able to work to develop the business.

"It has been a privilege to work with Tim in the establishment and subsequent development of the single governing body for cricket in England and Wales.

"He will also be missed by those in the international cricket community where he has performed with distinction over the last decade."

Two other officials, corporate affairs committee chairman Des Wilson and commercial director Mark Sibley have left the ECB in recent weeks.

Tim Lamb
"Cricket's got a new vibrancy"

ECB deputy chairman Mike Soper
"Tim brought cricket into the 21st century"

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