Lord Marland has withdrawn his challenge for the ECB chairmanship within the next 24 hours after it became clear he did not have the levels of support to make continuing worthwhile.
The final straw appears to have been when he learned last week that not one of the MCC committee was prepared to back his bid and they were solidly behind Giles Clarke. He had also been counting on support from Derbyshire but that was not forthcoming.
"It's now clear to me that I will on this occasion be unable to obtain a majority of the votes required and, faced with the continued refusal of several counties even to meet with me, it is with disappointment that I am announcing my withdrawal from the election for the chairmanship of the ECB," Marland said.
Needing ten votes to oust Clarke, it had become increasingly apparent that he was well short of the required number, even allowing for those counties who had not declared which way they would vote. He was due to meet with representatives of Kent at Canterbury today but failed to appear.
While publicly wishing Clarke well, Marland said that he hoped his candidacy had "helped to throw light on issues that need to be urgently addressed in English cricket, not least the absence of a structure which enables our excellent national players and team to flourish. The fractures within our domestic game, our standing with our traditional overseas partners and the finances of the sport have all combined to create a toxicity in our game.
"All English cricket supporters will watch with interest how the ECB moves forward and demonstrates improvements to its governance and financial accountability, as befits a national game, and also to the future of Twenty20 cricket in England in relation to the much-trumpeted Stanford package."
The news makes the election on February 9 a formality as there are no other candidates other than Clarke remaining.