Tony Irish has been named the new chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), the players’ union in England and Wales.
Irish currently holds a similar role with the South African Cricketers’ Association and is executive chairman of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA).
As reported by ESPNcricinfo, Irish was one of two candidates for the PCA role. He is understood to have beaten James McLaughlin – who was previously commercial director at Warwickshire and is currently CEO of Cure Leukaemia – to the position.
It is unclear whether Irish would be required to step down from his job at FICA in order to accept the PCA position.
There is a certain irony in Irish’s appointment. English cricket has long battled against accusations that it is overly reliant upon players developed in southern Africa; now they have appointed a South African to run their players’ association. Equally, having battled to stop the talent drain of players to England, Irish has finally joined the stream.
He leaves a somewhat troubled game behind him in South Africa. The South African Cricketers’ Association are currently in a legal battle with Cricket South Africa over a restructuring of domestic cricket in the country, with the relationship between the two at an all-time low.