Matt Neville has been named as the new chair of Basketball England.

A chair of British Gymnastics for five years until stepping down in 2019, the chartered accountant has worked as a senior figure in the construction products industry and online retail.

He replaces Clare Wardle, whose occasionally tumultuous reign has ended after four years with the Coca Cola Europe lawyer admitting she could not give the role “the time it needs”.

There will be calls for Neville to be more visible and transparent than his predecessor whose lack of immersion in basketball brought criticism.

However his lack of prior involvement in the sport will give him an immediate challenge in establishing some credibility among a membership which attempted, but failed, to oust the previous board.

“I take on the task in challenging times for Basketball England, as with all sports, as we focus on dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, and plan for life after it,” Neville said.

“But I look forward to working with CEO Stewart Kellett and the Board on this, as well as the exciting job of getting on with delivering BE’s strategic plan on the other side.

“Basketball is a vibrant, exciting sport and I look forward to being a part of realising its massive potential in this country.”

Basketball England, who have yet to respond to a request to reveal the appointments panel, will also start the process of recruiting new board members after of the departures of Jason Seiken, following his relocation back to the US, and Alan Richardson, who stepped down in October last year.

Neville said: “We thank Jason and Alan for their contributions to the organisation.

“We now look forward to building on our recent engagement with the basketball community over issues around anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement and will be starting our drive for new recruits to our board with a desire to reflect the diverse make-up of our sport.”

Russell Bell will continue in his role as Vice Chair.

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