Programme of change must continue, says MacLaurin

Published: Thursday, August 8, 2002, 22:53 [IST]
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London: Ian MacLaurin, departing chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Thursday the English game had to continue with the programme of change he had initiated. "There has been radical change but we cannot stop that," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "We are not a rich sport. A number of counties are reporting losses and we have got a two-year window to get our house in order before we need to re-negotiate broadcasting contracts. MacLaurin, who is not standing for re-election as chairman because of business commitments, has overseen the introduction of central contracts and the creation of a two-division county championship during his time in office. He added, "We have to look at the structure of the game and make it more efficient. You only have to look at other sports. Revenue is down, broadcasting revenue is down and sponsorship is hard to get. You need to be firm and ready for any eventualities. "We have got to have a functional committee structure and a more streamlined management." With international matches providing the vast majority of English cricket's income from both gate receipts and as a result of the Pounds 150 million television contracts with Channel 4 and Sky to cover those fixtures, MacLaurin said the form of the national side remained of paramount importance. "I think the England side over the last couple of years, since the miserable showing in the World Cup (when they went out in the first round on home soil in 1999), has gone from strength to strength," he said. "Since the appointment of (coach) Duncan Fletcher the team has got stronger and a huge credit has to go to captain Nasser Hussain. You need a successful England side. Everything starts there and filters its way down to the grassroots."

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