Lamb fires a parting shot for unity

The outgoing England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive, Tim Lamb, has revealed that losing the support of the first-class counties was a major factor in his decision to stand down. Lamb will remain in position until after the ICC Champions Trophy, which will conclude in late September.

The 51-year-old has held his position since 1997. During his tenure, Lamb has helped to oversee modernisation in the domestic game and sought to ensure England also keep pace in world cricket.

"I always said if it got to the stage where perhaps I felt my efforts weren't quite as appreciated as I would have liked them to be, it would be time for me to step down and that's the reason for my decision," Lamb said on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"There has been quite a bit of pressure building up over a number of issues. Some of the criticism I believe has been slightly unfair. It is important to stress I am going on my own terms. I have decided on the timing of it and hopefully I can walk out of the ECB at the end of September holding my head up high and feeling that I made a contribution along the way. The media has been full of criticism from various quarters, in particular the first-class counties. I have given this job total focus and commitment for eight years now and I always felt if it got to the stage where I felt I was I was in danger of outstaying my welcome it would be time to move on."

Lamb believes it is a situation which cannot be resolved without considerable effort from both parties. "I don't think there will be a civil war," he said. "I think there has to be mutual trust and confidence between the centre and the counties. The first-class counties are absolutely the key stakeholders in the game and once it gets to the stage where they perhaps feel they have lost some confidence in the centre, then that can create some problems. This reconciliation of the priorities at the centre and the counties is something my successor will have to wrestle with."

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