Colin Graves returns to Yorkshire board as non-executive director

Yorkshire have confirmed the controversial return of Colin Graves to the board of the club.

The 76-year-old has been appointed as a non-executive director ahead of his election as chair at Friday’s board meeting.

Graves will succeed interim chair, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who will remain on the board as a non-executive director, and the previous chair Harry Chathli.

Yorkshire Cricket Club File Photo
Yorkshire will appoint Graves as chair on Friday (Mike Egerton/PA)

Yorkshire’s members accepted a loan offer to the debt-ridden club from Graves, who previously served as chairman and helped to save them from financial ruin in 2002.

His comeback is hugely contentious, however, given the racism scandal which has engulfed the club since 2020 took place partially on his watch.

Graves, who has previously apologised for the mistakes of the past, vowed that “lessons have been learned”.

He said: “It is an honour and privilege to be appointed and be back at Yorkshire CCC.

“I will work tirelessly with the board to resolve the financial position in which the club currently finds itself, and to restore financial stability and sustainability to Yorkshire cricket for generations to come.

“Equally, it is my personal pledge to members and to the entire Yorkshire public that, regardless of background, community or ethnicity, all will be welcome in the fully inclusive culture and environment of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club. There will never be any exceptions.

Yorkshire CCC CDC Panel Hearing – Tuesday March 7th – International Arbitration Centre
Azeem Rafiq spoke out about discrimination at the club (James Manning/PA)

“I have unreservedly apologised for any, and all mistakes either I or the club has made over the painful and difficult years of the recent past.

“Lessons have been learned and will continue to be acted on as we move forward and focus on the future of our great club. Yorkshire CCC will become a sporting institution of which everyone can be proud.”

The racism scandal began when bowler Azeem Rafiq spoke out about the discrimination he faced during his time as a player.