Former ESPN Star chief to become ICC CEO

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has today (Tuesday) appointed Manu Sawhney as its new chief executive, with the former managing director of pan-Asian broadcaster ESPN Star Sports to officially take up his new position in July.

Sawhney, who also previously served as chief executive of Singapore Sports Hub, will join cricket’s world governing body next month before formally taking over the reins from David Richardson following the men’s World Cup, which takes place in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.

The ICC commenced a search for a new chief executive in July following the news that Richardson would step down from the position after the World Cup. Richardson, a wicketkeeper for South Africa during his playing career, has served as ICC chief executive since 2012. He was promoted to the role having become the first person to hold the position of general manager of cricket in 2002.

Sawhney’s appointment was ratified by the ICC Board following a global search and appointment process led by chairman Shashank Manohar and the Nominations Committee.

Manohar said: “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.

“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.”

Sawhney was with ESPN Star Sports for 17 years. During this time, he led the global broadcast partnership deal with the ICC that ran from 2007 to 2015. He is also a non-executive director and member of the Audit Committee of English Premier League football club Manchester United.

Sawhney said: “The sport has more than a billion fans and an ambitious growth strategy so it is a very exciting time to lead the organisation.

“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 will join the ICC in mid-February and will work alongside Richardson to ensure a smooth transition of leadership before assuming control in July.