ESSEX County Cricket Club have started the search for a new chief executive.

David East announced earlier this month that he would be standing down from the role.

Essex have now appointed a recruitment company to draw up a list of possible replacements. “We have appointed Odgers Berndtson to lead the search for suitable candidates for the role,” said Essex chairman Nigel Hilliard.

“They are the UK’s pre-eminent executive search firm and the hunt will be led by Simon Cummins, the managing partner of their International Sports Practice.”

East will be leaving the club at the end of the year to take up the chief executive’s post at Abu Dhabi Cricket Club and Emirates Cricket Board.

He will continue working with club chiefs for the next five weeks while would-be candidates are sought.

The successful applicant will be just the third chief executive at Essex in more than 33 years.

The job involves delivering professional cricket and developing the sport across the county and the London boroughs which used to form part of Essex.