DUBAI: Manu Sawhney has been appointed the next chief executive officer of ICC. Sawhney, a veteran media professional, will join the organisation in February and take formal charge of his position in July, once incumbent David Richardson steps down following the World Cup.
Indian-born Sawhney was the unanimous choice of the nomination committee, which met in London this week to finalise the pick from a shortlist of five candidates. On Tuesday, the ICC Board ratified Sawhney’s appointment although his contract period has not yet been revealed. Sawhney is, in a sense, a significant break from recent ICC tradition in that all his predecessors this century have been involved in cricket administration before taking up the ICC role.
Sawhney earned his feathers during a 17-year long career at ESPN-Star Sports (ESS), where he rose to become managing director. It was in his time with the company that ESS sealed the broadcasting deal for global ICC events in the 2007-15 cycle. Sawhney then moved on to Singapore Sports Hub, where he worked as CEO and still remains a non-executive director. He also sits on the audit committee of Manchester United Sports Ltd.
ICC chairman Shashank Manohar acknowledged Sawhney’s strengths, saying his familiarity with the commercial side of a sport fit in with the overall vision of the global governing body. “He has proven success in a number of leadership roles in both sport and broadcasting,” Manohar said in a media release. “He is a strategic thinker and understands the cricket landscape and its complexities.”
Talking on his new role, Sawhney said he was joining ICC at a time when it had set itself an “ambitious growth strategy” and was looking forward to helping “propel the sport forward into a period of significant and sustained global growth in the coming years.”