Under-fire Clarke re-elected
Giles Clarke has been officially reappointed as chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board after his election was ratified today.
The former Somerset chairman has been under pressure to vacate the post he has filled for the last two years following his decision to enter into a contract with Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, who has since been charged with fraud by the US authorities.
But after a week where he has been asked to resign repeatedly by critics - calls he has emphatically resisted - Clarke has emerged intact with his re-election until 31 March, 2011 being confirmed by the 41 members of the ECB.
Clarke was put forward to the full membership of the ECB following the withdrawal of Lord Marland of Odstock from the nomination process, who pulled out of the race when it became clear few of the counties supported him.
Clarke's campaign for re-election had been based around his ability to bring vast funds into English cricket, notably through a five-year deal with Stanford for England to play an annual Twenty20 match in Antigua and for a regular Twenty20 quadrangular tournament at Lord's.
The association was controversial from the start and England's trip to Antigua last October was marred by Stanford being seen bouncing England wicketkeeper Matt Prior's pregnant wife on his knee during one match.
The promised riches for the England players also did not materialise when they were soundly beaten in the Stanford Super Series match and missed out on the 20million prize money.
But the news that Stanford had been charged with an alleged $9billion fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission seemed to be the most damaging development of all for Clarke. The news came out after the ECB election and prompted them to withdraw from all contracts with Stanford.
The Stanford situation however has not prevented the 41 members of the ECB - which comprises the 18 first-class counties, the 21 county boards, the MCC and the Minor Counties Cricket Association - returning Clarke as chairman for a second term.
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