Sir Michael Barber, who lives locally in North Devon and is a member of Somerset County Cricket Club, has been chosen to take over from the club’s outgoing Chair, Gordon Baird.
Sir Michael has also worked on delivery and accomplishment with elite sports organisations including the Lawn Tennis Association and Team Sky. Since 2016 he has been a member of the FA’s Technical Advisory Board, which has helped the England men’s and women’s teams prepare for major tournaments.
In April 2021 his latest book, Accomplishment: How Ambitious and Challenging Things Get Done, was published. It identifies the pattern of accomplishment across many fields including sport, business and science as well as government. It has been described by Matthew Syed as “an excellent analysis”. His previous book, How to Run a Government so that Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don’t go Crazy, has been influential among politicians and officials worldwide.
After accepting the role, Sir Michael, who was once described by Time magazine as ‘the single most influential educator on the face of the earth’, said: “As an avid fan of county cricket over the years and a local person, living in North Devon, I am thrilled and honoured to take on this role.
“I have been impressed by the immense contribution Somerset makes both to cricket in England and Wales and to the South-West region, especially in recent years. The flow of Somerset cricketers into England teams – women as well as men – is impressive. Somerset’s results over the last decade on the field are striking too.
“The Club is rightly famous for its impressive and highly committed Membership base and has been managed well through challenging times.
“These are all strong foundations for the next phase of the Club’s history as we approach our 150th anniversary, in 2025.
“I hope my knowledge and experience of working with governments, education institutions and elite sports teams, will enable me to contribute, alongside others, to Somerset’s success in the future.”
Mr Baird said: “After what has been a difficult period for so many people, I am delighted to say that the club emerges from the pandemic in a robust position both on and off the field. This is thanks to the hard work, dedication and passion of our ever loyal and supportive members, players, executive team, staff, legion of committee members and volunteers.
“It has been an honour to represent Somerset County Cricket Club throughout this challenging time and I wish Sir Michael every success in the role.
“He is an outstanding leader with a genuine passion for the game and with a clear understanding of the current cricket landscape, he shares a commitment to securing Somerset’s position within the game as a successful members club both on and off the field. Most importantly he has the experience, skills and passion to support the executive team and cricket staff in achieving their goals.”
Somerset CCC Chief Executive, Gordon Hollins, added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gordon Baird for his unwavering commitment and support during what has been a turbulent time. His contribution to the Club has played an important role in ensuring that we are in the strong position that we currently find ourselves in. I now look forward to working with Sir Michael and the new Board, to deliver a Strategy designed to ensure the Club and cricket in the South West flourishes for years to come.”
Sir Michael will officially take up his new position on May 9, 2022.