Former ECB head Graves named to Oakwell advisory board
Colin Graves, the former head of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has joined the advisory board of Oakwell Sports Advisory, the London-based consultancy firm.
It was announced today that the 72-year-old Graves, who stepped down as ECB chairman in September after five years at the helm, will be actively involved in Oakwell’s commercial activities and work closely with the firm’s clients.
Graves became ECB chairman in 2015, having served two years as deputy chairman, and stepped down last year.
During his tenure, he was responsible for overseeing significant governance reforms and the launch of the ECB's new short-format competition, The Hundred, which was due to debut in 2020, but has been postponed until this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Graves played a significant role in securing a £1.1-billion ($1.5-billion) broadcasting rights deal with pay-television operator Sky and public-service network the BBC for England home games and domestic competitions.
In addition, he was a board member of the International Cricket Council between 2015 and 2020.
Graves was widely expected to stand for election as chairman of the ICC in October when Shashank Manohar vacated the position in July, but ultimately did not put his name forward for official consideration after failing to secure enough support.
His previous roles included executive chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Oakwell said the addition of Graves to its advisory board “reflects its sustained growth in 2020, its global ambitions and its continued recruitment across the business.”
In July last year, the company named Andrew Croker, the sports industry veteran with over 40 years of experience in the world of sports and media management, as chairman of its advisory board.
On his appointment, Graves said: “I am delighted to join Oakwell at a critical time for the business of international sport. Sport, globally, will require much assistance - both structural and financial - in the next two to three years, and Oakwell’s skill set and global outlook is ideally positioned to add significant value.
“Globally, the relationship between sport and private capital needs nurturing and optimising. Better commercial business models are required, as is more responsive governance. Whilst cricket has always been my passion, I look forward to sharing my sports and business experience for the benefit of Oakwell, and the wider ecosystem of leagues, investors, clubs, rights holders, and companies in all sports, globally.”
Andrew Umbers, co-founder and partner of Oakwell Sports Advisory, added: “2020 was a very challenging year for sports and serious economic headwinds still remain. With the support of our new appointment Colin Graves, our core executive team, and our advisory board, we are ideally placed to advise third party capital, sports bodies, corporates and franchise owners and their global ecosystems on overcoming the challenges ahead."