Andy Nash has tendered his resignation as non-executive director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), citing “significant differences”.
Nash has been a member of the board since 2004 and said plans reported in The Times this week that Test match venues will be granted between £500,000 and £2.5m for years they do not host games, “suggest a move to promote eight counties as first among equals.”
The former Somerset chairman stepped down from his role in January to focus on his role as a director for the ECB.
Test match venues for 202-24 were announced in February as The Oval, Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge. Under the plans it would mean that Hampshire would be set to be awarded £2.5m in compensation after the Ageas Bowl was not awarded a Test.
Headingley will host Tests in 2021, 2022 and 2023 meaning Yorkshire stands to gain £1m. Edgbaston, Old Trafford and Trent Bridge missed out on one Test apiece over the five year cycle, which means that Warwickshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire are set to get £500,00 each.
In addition, the newspaper also reported that Glamorgan had already been awarded over £1m in compensation after agreeing to not bid for any Tests from 2020-24 at its SSE Swalec Stadium.
In his statement, Nash said: "I've recently become concerned that the standards of corporate governance at [the] ECB are falling well short of what's acceptable and in all conscience I can't allow myself to be associated with it.
"I would be failing in my duty as a director if I didn't bring these to the Board's attention. 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 that my actions as a listening and conscientious NXD [non-executive director] 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 county 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."
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