Sawhney, the former CEO of Singapore Sports Hub and Managing Director of ESPN Star Sports, will join the world cricket body next month before formally taking over the reins from Richardson in July following the 2019 World Cup in England.
The appointment was ratified by the ICC Board following a global search and appointment process led by ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar and the Nominations Committee.
“I am delighted to confirm Manu’s appointment today. He brings 22 years of outstanding commercial experience to the ICC and will lead the delivery of our new global growth strategy for the game. Our search produced a host of excellent candidates from around the world, but Manu stood out as the man to work with our Members and take cricket forward,” Manohar said as quoted as saying in an ICC release.
“He has proven success in a number of leadership roles in both sport and broadcasting. He is a strategic thinker and understands the cricket landscape and its complexities. The decision of the Nominations Committee to recommend Manu to the Board was a unanimous one and I and my fellow directors are looking forward to working with him,” he added.
Global head-hunting firm Egon Zehnder was appointed by the ICC last year in September to identify potential candidates. Apart from Manohar, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary, Cricket West Indies president David Cameron, Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings and independent director Indra Nooyi were part of the panel to conduct the interviews which were held in London on Sunday and Monday (January 13 and 14).
CricketNext was informed that one of the criterions laid down by the ICC for the new CEO was that he shouldn’t have a cricketing background unlike outgoing Richardson, who is former South Africa wicketkeeper. This was the criterion that ruled out Richardson’s former teammate Steve Elworthy, who is the managing director of 2019 World Cup.
Sawhney, was with ESPN Star Sports for seventeen years and led the global broadcast partnership deal with the ICC that ran from 2007-2015.
“It is a great privilege and responsibility to serve the global cricket community as CEO of the ICC. The sport has more than a billion fans and an ambitious growth strategy so it is a very exciting time to lead the organization. I’d like to thank the ICC Board for giving me this opportunity and look forward to working with them, our Members, the team and ICC’s incredible partners and cricketers around the world to propel the sport forward into a period of significant and sustained global growth in the coming years,” Sawhney said.
Sawhney will join the ICC in mid-February and will work alongside Richardson the outgoing CEO to ensure a smooth transition of leadership before assuming control in July.
First Published: January 15, 2019, 4:58 PM IST