ANYONE wondering why Sean Morris resigned suddenly from the Professional Cricketers Association had their curiosity satisfied today when Rajasthan Royals announced his appointment as their new chief executive.
Morris, 41, a former Hampshire player, lasted less than two years as the PCA’s chief executive after the previous incumbent, Richard Bevan, had spent 11 years building a players association into a major support organisation, providing leadership with 80 commercial partners and a seven-figure turnover.
Bevan left to join the football managers equivalent with some typically perceptive comments about the ICC and the state of the world game. “The ICC is not a governing body, it is a facilitator of events,” he said before leaving cricket behind. “It must move to an independent board structure based on good governance and accountability. Only strong ICC leadership devoid of political influence will have the ability to control and grow the game.” But another comment strikes a chord in 2009 when he touched on the large sums spent on developing the game in new countries while allowing existing pillars to become marginalised. “The ICC says it is promoting cricket in 120 or so countries, but what about safeguarding New Zealand and West Indies?” Bevan said. This point was raised angrily in November 2009 by Joel Garner while managing the West Indies in Australia. Caribbean cricket was withering while the ICC pursued their grand schemes.
Morris began his post-Hampshire career with Dunlop Slazenger and after joining the PCA in January 2008 he was faced with a turbulent period in the game, most notably the terrorist atrocities in India and Pakistan, the explosion of heavily enriched Indian Premier League 20-overs cricket and the ECB’s sacking of Peter Moores and Kevin Pietersen, the England coach and captain at the start of 2009.
Morris is to assume immediate responsibility for the Jaipur-based Rajasthan Royals, the first IPL champions in May 2008, and he will be focusing on developing the brand outside of India. Shane Warne, the Rajasthan Royals captain, said: “I am delighted that Sean will be joining the Rajasthan Royals management team. He is well respected by players around the world and we look forward to him helping us build on the phenomenal successes that we have enjoyed so far”.