Irani steps down from Essex board after ‘internal dispute involving Cook’

Essex have announced that club legend Ronnie Irani has officially stepped down from their board.

Irani was at the centre of an explosive internal dispute within the club, which involved former England captain Sir Alastair Cook.

As first reported by Cricbuzz back in August, Irani left his role as Chairman of the Cricket Committee at Essex because of the dispute.

The report states that several senior players had become "increasingly frustrated" with Irani over what they viewed as 'too much meddling in team affairs'.

Irani is also said to have demanded an investigation into an alleged drinking culture at the club.

The report names club captain Tom Westley, head coach Anthony McGrath and senior players Cook, Simon Harmer and Dan Lawrence as being part of the group unhappy with Irani's involvement.

The group is said to have told the club that they would "consider their futures unless a change was made", leading to Irani stepping down from that role.

However, he remained a part of the club's board and the dispute continued, with the Daily Mail reporting in September that Cook could quit Essex as a result.

It was stated that more talks were planned to decide on Irani's future and that the outcome of those discussions "could decide whether Cook signs the new contract on the table Essex dearly want him to".

Now that Irani has also stepped down from the board, it appears as though the group have won their battle and paves the way for Cook to sign an extension.

Essex's Chairman, John Faragher, said of Irani's departure: "I would like to thank Ronnie for his services over the last twelve years during which time the Club has achieved considerable success on the field.

"Ronnie’s contribution on the Essex County Cricket Club Board and as Chairman of the Cricket Committee has been central to this success and we wish him well in the future."

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