Middlesex charged with improper conduct by Cricket Regulator

A general view of Lord's as Sam Robson drives Philip Brown / © Getty Images

Middlesex's off-field troubles have deepened after the club was charged by the newly-formed Cricket Regulator with a breach of ECB directive 3.3, which pertains to "conduct which is improper or which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket", following allegations of inappropriate behaviour against their chief financial officer, Illa Sharma.

Although the employee in question is not being named by the Regulator, Middlesex themselves acknowledged Sharma's conduct was under investigation in a recent statement after details of the allegations were published by the Telegraph last week.

The paper reported that around 30 current and former Middlesex staff members had been interviewed by the Regulator in relation to the charge, which centres on one specific complaint from two years ago. Two former club employees claimed to have suffered mental health issues, with others also speaking out about a "bullying culture".

In a statement, the Cricket Regulator confirmed the charge had been levelled following an "investigation into an allegation of misconduct by an employee of the club. The Cricket Regulator will not be identifying the individual concerned.

"ECB Directive 3.3 concerns conduct, acts or omissions which are improper, or which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket, or which may bring the ECB or the game of cricket into disrepute.

"The charge will be considered in due course by the independent Cricket Discipline Commission. No further comment will be made until the case is concluded."

The saga is a continuation of a difficult few months for Middlesex, which has been embroiled in a long-running dispute with its former CEO, Richard Goatley, and was last year placed in special measures by the ECB after an error in pension payments caused a £500,000 shortfall in the club's accounts and a registered loss of £952,000 for the year 2021-22.