DAVID East has revealed he was head-hunted for the post of chief executive of Abu Dhabi Cricket Club and Emirates Cricket Board.

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Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second largest city in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates.

East, who replaces Dilawar Mani after he completed his three-year tenure, said: “I was approached directly by the Emirates Cricket Board.

“I have made a number of contacts over there in recent years, but the offer came about following a senior recommendation in international cricket, which was very flattering.”

East has been appointed on an initial three-year contract, but he said this may be extended if both parties wished to do so.

He continued: “It is a completely different country with a different culture and I will be working with different people.

“It is a fantastic and exciting opportunity and one I could not turn down.”

East’s wife, Jeanette, will fly out with him on January 2, to start searching for somewhere to live, before she temporarily returns home.

“Although living in Abu Dhabi, I will hopefully be coming back to England at least once or twice a year,” he said.

His 14-year-old daughter, Georgie, is currently at Ipswich School and will finish taking the first year of her GCSEs before going out to Abu Dhabi, where she has a place in a British School.

Son Matthew has been living in Newmarket and working for Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

However, he is relocating to the university’s Chelmsford campus and, along with his girlfriend, will live in the East’s family home of 22 years at Dedham.

East admitted it will be a big wrench to leave Essex after 30 years with the county as a player and administrator.

“You don’t spend this amount of time with one county and not form close friendships both from a professional and personal point of view.”

He added: “I would like to thank everybody for all the support they have given me over the years.

“I have had a great relationship with the committee and staff here and all the members during what have been difficult times.

“I am extremely grateful and am looking forward to returning in the future in a more leisurely capacity.”

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