Former FA chief executive Ian Watmore to take charge at ECB

Former Football Association chief executive Ian Watmore to take charge at England and Wales Cricket Board

  • Watmore is currently chair of the board of the Civil Service Commission  
  • The 61-year-old will replace Colin Graves, who has been chairman since 2015
  • Watmore will shadow Graves before officially taking charge on December 1

Former Football Association chief executive Ian Watmore has been named as the successor to Colin Graves as ECB chairman.

Watmore, 61, has been appointed chair-elect, enabling him to shadow Graves in the last few months of his tenure, with the official handover due to take place on December 1.

Watmore understands high-level sport, having served as the chief executive at the FA, albeit for just nine months in 2010. Intent on reform, he left frustrated at the pace at which the council-dominated organisation moved.

Ian Watmore (above) has been named as the successor to Colin Graves as ECB chairman

He was also an independent board member of the England 2015 Rugby World Cup, as well as a member of the boards of both the English Institute of Sport and the English Football League.

He is currently chair of the board of the Civil Service Commission, a post he will hold until 2021. During his work in government, he has reported to five Prime Ministers. Before moving into the civil service, he had been managing director of consultancy giants Accenture.

‘I am incredibly proud to be appointed to such a prestigious position and look forward to continuing Colin’s work and making the most of the tremendous momentum that cricket is currently enjoying,’ Watmore said.

Watmore will replace Colin Graves (right), who has been chairman of the ECB since 2015

‘I feel privileged to be given this opportunity to help a sport that I care passionately about. All my life, I’ve seen the power of sport to unite communities. I look forward to working with the ECB and its stakeholders to grow the international, domestic and recreational game and make a positive difference to society.’

Following the ECB’s recent governance review, its board is now fully independent, and the position of chair will become a paid one upon Graves’ departure – which comes six months later than was initially anticipated. 

Last year, Graves was granted an extension to his term by the board so that he could oversee the first season of the Hundred, the competition the governing body believes will underpin the future of the game in this country.

Watmore was identified as the man to form a strong working relationship with Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive, and grow the game further by a nominations committee chaired by former women’s international Lucy Pearson and including ex-England captain Sir Andrew Strauss. The appointment will be ratified by ECB members at its AGM on May 12. 




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