The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that Leshia Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Wales, will join the company as the new Managing Director, Recreational Game.
The new role succeeds that of Director of Participation and Growth, and will see Hawkins become a member of the ECB Leadership Group.
She is tasked with ensuring an integrated approach across England and Wales with regards to the delivery of the Participation & Growth strategy.
The role will see Hawkins lead on further strengthening relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders across the recreational game – including Cricket Boards, County Cricket Foundations and Charity partners – to ensure that resources are efficiently utilised and that every region is supported to deliver recreational cricket to the best of its ability across its communities.
She will also support the new Recreational Game Committee (RGC), which has responsibility to provide strategic advice to the ECB Board in relation to recreational cricket.
Hawkins has headed up Cricket Wales since 2020, having worked previously at the ECB in both commercial and cricket development roles. She is also a playing member of the MCC, recently joining their Women’s Players & Fixtures Sub-Committee, and a non-Executive Director at England Athletics.
Richard Gould, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring Leshia into our team to lead such a crucial area of the game.
“There were a number of very capable candidates and she was the outstanding choice. The whole game will benefit from her expertise, her experience and her enthusiasm to take cricket forward.
“We know that cricket can have a vital social impact, and by supporting inclusive recreational cricket communities we can both bring more people into the game and also help sustain the future of the sport.”
Leshia Hawkins said: “I am extremely proud to have been asked to take on this role, especially at such a critical moment for our sport. I am acutely cognisant of the challenges ahead, but I also see enormous opportunities for the recreational game to further grow its reach and relevance, and to underpin all of cricket’s objectives in the coming years.
“While I am, of course, very sad to be leaving a job, team - and country - that I adore, I know the game in Wales will continue to flourish as it has, despite the myriad external challenges, over the last four years.
“I feel deeply privileged to be taking up this new post, and I look forward to playing the fullest possible role I can to ensure that cricket achieves its goal of becoming the most inclusive team sport in England and Wales.”