OAKWELL Sports Advisory, a specialist corporate finance advisory service solving commercial challenges in sport, has announced that former Yorkshire CCC Executive Chairman, Colin Graves CBE, has joined its Advisory Board with immediate effect.

The appointment reflects Oakwell’s sustained growth in 2020, its continued recruitment across the business – including Andrew Croker as Advisory Board Chairman in July 2020 - and its global ambitions.

Graves is one of UK sport’s most recognisable and respected administrators and in August 2020, he completed a five-year tenure as Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, which was preceded by a two-year period (2013-2015) as Deputy Chairman.

That latter role coincided with his time at Yorkshire, where he was in the Executive Chairman role from 2012-2015.

Graves’ achievements as ECB chairman were significant, including major governance reforms and paving the way for The Hundred.

He was also a Board Director of the International Cricket Council from 2015-2020.

Graves has a stunning legacy at Yorkshire too of course, including transforming Headingley into a world-class cricket venue. In 2020, he was awarded a CBE for services to cricket.

The 72-year-old is also a renowned businessman and entrepreneur.

He founded the York-based convenience retail group, Costcutter, overseeing its growth into an international household name, and sale to Bibby Line Group.

Graves will be actively involved in Oakwell’s commercial activities, bringing his decades of experience in sport and business to Oakwell’s clients - as sports and rights holders continue to revamp traditional financing methods and shareholder structures, to cope with economic challenges.

After his appointment at Oakwell was confirmed, 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.

“While 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.”