Ian Watmore, who previously served the England Football League (EFL) as its independent non-executive director, is set to become England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) Chairman on December 1 this year. Watmore previously quit his EFL role in November 2018 on the grounds of poor health. However, England’s Daily Mail reported that EFL had launched an inquiry against Ian Watmore a week before his premature departure.
According to the report, EFL launched an inquiry by claiming that Ian Watmore was involved in talks which could have led EFL clubs to start a separate league altogether, thus jeopardising a lucrative broadcast deal between EFL and Sky Sports. In a recent statement issued by an ECB spokesperson, it is being said that the cricket board is fully aware of the claims against Ian Watmore and will be reviewing the situation. The spokesperson also said that Watmore was appointed as ECB’s next Chairman after a “rigorous search” process. The ECB announced him for the role earlier this year (February) and he would be replacing present ECB Chairman Colin Graves.
Speaking about the situation before his ECB regime, Ian Watmore told the Daily Mail that he along with EFL have tried to solve their standoff over the TV rights deal earlier. He added that EFL was “split down” over the deal which prompted him to seek discussions with leading representatives to solve the impasse.
Meanwhile, the ongoing coronavirus crisis has prompted worldwide cricketing activities to come to a standstill. The International Cricket Council (ICC) recently put all proposed tours on hold until June this year. Due to the pandemic and lockdown in the United Kingdom, even the ECB recently postponed its entire 2020 domestic and international home season.