Whittingdale to withdraw

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The Independent Online
Patrick Whittingdale, the City analyst who has provided up to £4m in sponsorship to cricket in general and the England team in particular over the past four years, will not prolong his agreement with the Test and County Cricket Board at the end of September.

Whittingdale, who heads a fund management firm, was reportedly unhappy at the quality of man management of the England team. He has in the past expressed unhappiness at the apparent resistance to change at the top of the game in England, but his dissatisfaction apparently grew during the tour of Australia.

He appears to be particularly disappointed by the performance of Raymond Illingworth in his role as chairman of the selectors and by his treatment of Mike Atherton.

Tim Lamb, the TCCB cricket secretary, yesterday expressed the Board's gratitude for Whittingdale's support and said he regretted the fact that it had not been possible to renew the agreement. Micky Stewart, the TCCB's director of coaching, considered the sponsorship to be essential.

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