Colin Graves will end his tenure as chair of the England and Wales Cricket Board this August with former Football League board member Ian Watmore to take his place.
The 72-year-old has held the position for five years but will step down on August 31st following the postponement of The Hundred to summer 2021.
The former Costcutter magnate and Yorkshire CCC chairman had extended his tenure by six months to oversee the launch of the ECB’s new franchise competition, find expert advice from these professional tipsters for the forthcoming cricket season, but in light of its rescheduling due to the coronavirus pandemic will hand the reins over to Watmore earlier than anticipated.
Watmore, whose CV boasts spells at the Football Association, the Civil Service and on the board of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, has been subject to scrutiny following a Daily Mail report highlighting his conduct a four-month spell on the EFL board, specifically a meeting with Derby County owner Mel Morris that threatened the formation of a breakaway league due to a disagreement over TV rights.
An ECB review into the matter cleared Watmore of any wrongdoing, however, and so he will succeed Graves as the board’s first salaried chairman come September.
Outgoing chairman Graves said: “It feels important to both the game and the ECB Board, to allow Ian Watmore to commence his role earlier than originally agreed.
“I have no doubt that his wealth of experience in sport, business and government will be invaluable as we navigate through this crisis.
“I have been extremely heartened by how cricket has come together in these recent, unimaginable times.
“It has been a privilege to work with so many passionate people across the game who are driven by their belief in cricket’s power to improve lives and connect communities.”