England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Ian Watmore stepped down with immediate effect saying that the demands of the role have taken a personal toll on him during the pandemic.
Watmore, who replaced Colin Graves in December last year, stepped down ten months into a five-year term. Current deputy chairman Barry O'Brien, will take over in interim capacity.
"It is with regret that I step down as chair of the ECB, but I do so in mindfulness of my own wellbeing and that of the game which I love," Watmore said. "I was appointed to the post in a pre-pandemic era, but Covid has meant the role and its demands on time are dramatically different to all our original expectations, which has taken a personal toll on me."
"Given this, the Board and I feel the ECB will be better served by a new Chair to take it forward post pandemic. Leaving now, at the end of the season, gives the Board time to find a new Chair to support cricket through the challenges of the 2022 season and beyond.
Watmore came under severe scrutiny after the ECB cancelled their men's and women's tours of Pakistan last month and lack of a proper explanation from him and chief executive Tom Harrison made things worse.
"On a personal level, I also retired last month after five years at the Civil Service Commission and recently became a grandfather. I would now like to retire completely from work and enjoy our great game as a spectator," he said.
Currently, there is no fixed timeline to appointing Watmore's successor.
"We will shortly begin a process to appoint a new Chair to lead the ECB, as the organisation continues to deliver on its ambitions to grow the game and create an increasingly inclusive and welcoming sport for all," O'Brein said.