Ex-ECB chairman Colin Graves accuses MP Julian Knight of blocking his election to the Yorkshire board and ordering cricket’s governing body to remove the county’s right to Tests
- Colin Graves accused Julian Knight of blocking his election to Yorkshire’s board
- The former ECB chairman had not been permitted to join after his appliation
- Yorkshire chairman Loard Patel did not given reason for Graves’ rejection
Former ECB chairman Colin Graves has accused Conservative MP Julian Knight of blocking his election to the Yorkshire board and ordering the governing body to remove the county’s right to Tests.
Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel told a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee this week that Graves had not been permitted to join the Headingley board, but did not say why.
But Graves told Sportsmail both the Yorkshire chairman and acting ECB chairman, Martin Darlow, had assured him he could stand for election. The 74-year-old was interviewed for the role last summer but was unsuccessful.
Former ECB chairman Colin Graves (pictured) made accusations over his recent application
Graves suggested Julian Knight (pictured) blocked his election to the Yorkshire board
Darlow denied any involvement from the ECB, leading Graves to accuse Knight, who has taken a close interest in Yorkshire due to his position as DCMS chair.
‘I spoke to Martin Darlow and Kamlesh Patel twice last summer and they both said I could rejoin the Yorkshire board,’ Graves told Sportsmail. ‘This appears to have changed, as Kamlesh told the committee he’d been told I couldn’t rejoin the board. Who told him that? It wasn’t the ECB.
‘It points towards Julian Knight and DCMS. That would be government interference in a national sport over the head of the ECB and Yorkshire, which is clearly a breach of regulations.’
Yorkshire were stripped of Tests last November, but regained them after committing to reforms, including the election of two new Board members.
‘This has happened before,’ Graves said. ‘Julian Knight’s office rang the ECB on November 4, 2021, and told them if Yorkshire weren’t sanctioned then their Government funding would be jeopardised. The ECB announced Yorkshire would lose international matches that day.’ The ECB and Knight declined to comment.
Graves pictured with England captain Joe Root after a Test match with Ireland