Colin Graves has been nominated by the chairmen of the first-class counties and the MCC for the position of deputy chairman of the ECB.  Graves, executive chairman of Yorkshire, defeated Nigel Hilliard, chairman of Essex, in the secret ballot by ten votes to seven, with two abstentions. Heading into the vote both candidates felt they were likely to gain nine votes.

  Graves will now be put forward to the 41 members of the ECB for election as deputy chairman, in succession to Dennis Amiss who recently announced his intention to stand down from this post at the 2013 AGM on May 8. It is most unlikely that Graves’ appointment will be blocked.  His appointment will mark a significant change at the ECB. While Amiss, the former England batsman, and Hilliard could be expected to support Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, on most matters and relied upon for their low-key maintenance of the party line, Graves may prove a more challenging deputy. A successful businessman - he founded the Costcutter supermarket chain and sold the company in 2012 - he has strong views and will not be afraid to speak them.  Though not anti-Clarke, Graves will be a more demanding deputy than Amiss and is seen by the counties as more likely to hold Clarke to account. He may also prove a strong candidate for the chairmanship at some stage in the future. It is understood that Hilliard was Clarke’s preferred choice.  “I am honoured that the first-class counties and MCC have chosen to nominate me for the office of deputy chairman of the ECB,” Graves said. “I am most grateful for the support of my colleagues and will now await the conclusion of the election process by ECB’s 41 Members.”  Graves has been chairman of Yorkshire since 2006 and has been an ECB board director since 2010. He has put around £7m of his own money into ensuring Yorkshire survived trying times in recent years and has personally guaranteed other bank loans for the club.