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Ian Watmore's role will commence on September 1 (credit: Getty Sports)
Ian Watmore's role will commence on September 1 (credit: Getty Sports)

Press release -

Ian Watmore ratified as ECB Chair at AGM

  • Watmore's role will commence on September 1 after the 41 members voted unanimously in his favour
  • ECB finances saw record 2019 turnover of £228million with profits exceeding expectation by £5.7million
  • Lord Kamlesh Patel to step down as Senior Independent Director on August 31

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that Ian Watmore’s appointment as Chair was ratified at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) which took place virtually today. The ECB’s 41 members voted unanimously in Watmore’s favour.

With the last stage of his appointment process concluded, Mr Watmore will step into the role in September 2020. He succeeds current ECB Chair, Colin Graves CBE, following a successful five-year tenure that saw England lift two ODI ICC Cricket World Cups, as well as securing a record £1.1billion media rights deal.

In addition to the ratification, it was confirmed that Senior Independent Director, Lord Kamlesh Patel, will step down as the Board’s Senior Independent Director (SID) after serving over five years. A replacement will be identified in the coming months. Lord Patel was involved in a number of significant changes during his term, most notably the creation of the 2018 action plan to engage South Asian audiences, in addition to establishing the ECB’s Governance Committee and being a key voice in the creation of the Inspiring Generations Strategy.

Commenting on today’s news, Colin Graves CBE said: “I am very pleased that Ian’s appointment as Chair has been fully approved by our 41 valued members. His experience and deep passion for cricket will strongly support the progress and cohesion of the game over the next five years.

‘’The game’s newest test, the threat of COVID-19, will challenge us all. I am certain that no corner of the game will emerge the same. It will be our ability to stay united and remain agile that will see us through this most difficult of times.’’

Also commenting, Ian Watmore said: “I have made clear from the start of this process how important the cricket network is to our sport thriving across England and Wales. In a post-COVID-19 world, it is more important than ever before that we see sport connect communities and improve lives. That goal is only achievable with the support of the entire game and I look forward to working with the membership and other key stakeholders in delivering our ambitions.”

ECB financial update from AGM

The ECB shared an update on its financial results for 2019-2020 with its membership at today’s virtual AGM, reporting a record turnover of £228million.

This was an increase of £56million from 2018, which included a men’s tour of India, when it reached a turnover of £172million. It is also considerably higher than an average year which yields approximately £125million turnover.

The group’s administrative expenditure at £164m was an increase of £22m as compared to the prior year at £142m, this increase was largely due to special fee distributions paid to each of the First-Class Counties in respect of ICC Men’s CWC19. Additional distributions also included a £3million distribution to the Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) and a £15.7million donation to the England and Wales Cricket Trust (EWCT).

This FYE resulted in a profit of £6.5million which was a £5.7million increase on the ECB Board’s approved budget of £800,000. This boost in profit enabled the ECB’s reserves to increase to £17.1million from last year’s £11.2million.

Commenting, Scott Smith, Chief Financial Officer for the ECB, said; ‘’The success of hosting the CWC19 and Men’s and Women’s Ashes on home soil saw us achieve record revenues for the game, and allowed us to distribute more funding across the game than ever before. With the impact of COVID-19 these results are somewhat bittersweet, but it is nonetheless extremely positive to know that with the right conditions, the game can continue to grow financial momentum for its stakeholders.’’


Notes to Editors

A full copy of the ECB’s Financial Statements for 2019-2020 can be found here.

This is where last year’s statements live on the website:

Ian Watmore – Biography

Ian Watmore has a distinguished record in sport, business and public life. Born in Surrey in 1958, he has a degree in mathematics and management studies from Cambridge. A lifelong cricket fan, he played the game at school and attended his first match in 1968.

After beginning his career as a graduate trainee in 1980, he spent 24 years with Arthur Andersen / Accenture. He rose to become the firm’s youngest ever UK managing partner and led it to become the FT Global 500 business that Accenture is today. Between 2000 and 2004 he served as the CEO of Accenture UK.

He moved into the Civil Service and was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Universities, Innovation and Skills between 2007 and 2009, and at the Cabinet Office from 2010 to 2012. He has reported to five Prime Ministers.

In 2016 he was appointed by The Queen to chair the Board of Civil Service Commission, a post he holds until 2021. In this role he ensures the UK team is independent and impartial and that appointments are made openly and on merit.

Mr Watmore was Chief Executive of the Football Association in 2009 to 2010 and during his time there he oversaw the creation of the Women’s Super League. He went on to become a member of the England 2015 Rugby World Cup Board.

He has also been a board member of the English Institute of Sport and an independent non-executive director of the English Football League. He chaired Quantum Sports, the sports management business, but stood down from that role in 2018.

He has been a Church Commissioner, a non-executive director at the Office of the Information Commissioner and Chair of Trustees at the Migraine Trust charity.

Nominations Committee

The dedicated Nominations Committee was led by Lucy Pearson and comprised four ECB board members and one independent:

  • Barry O’Brien, ECB Non-Executive Director, former Chair of Glamorgan County Cricket Club;
  • Brenda Trenowden, ECB Non-Executive Director, Global Co-Chair of the 30% Club and Partner at PwC UK;
  • Jim Wood, ECB Non-Executive Director and former Chair of Devon County Cricket Club; and
  • Sir Andrew Strauss, former England captain, and Chair of the Cricket Committee

Recruitment Process

The ECB worked with Odgers Berndtson, a leading executive search and recruitment consultancy, to ensure it attracted a wide and diverse range of candidates. The procedure to identify the right candidate was as follows:

  • Initial telephone conversation with candidates
  • Meeting between candidates and recruiter
  • Creation of longlist
  • Due diligence
  • Meeting with multiple senior ECB figures
  • Creation of shortlist
  • Final presentations to Nominations Committee
  • Recommendation by Nominations Committee to ECB Board
  • Decision and approval by ECB Board
  • Ratification by ECB members at AGM on June 2



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