South Yorkshire businessman Colin Graves will serve as England and Wales Cricket Board chairman for the next five years.
The ECB confirmed Graves’ election on Tuesday, succeeding Giles Clarke, along with a raft of constitutional changes.
The 67-year-old Yorkshire chairman, who grew up in Thorne, will officially take up his new role at the ECB annual general meeting in May.
Graves’ nomination was unopposed by 41 ECB board members, and rubber-stamped via an election process.
Currently ECB deputy chairman, Graves spoke enthusiastically about the opportunity ahead in the Ashes this summer to involve more people in “the country’s number one summer sport”.
He said: “It is a great honour and a privilege to be elected as ECB chairman, and I would like to thank the membership of the ECB for offering me their full support.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to Giles for his outstanding leadership of ECB over the past eight years; a period which has seen unprecedented levels of investment in all areas of the game.”
Graves made clear when his nomination was announced that he believes much progress must be made to ensure the future appeal and well-being of domestic cricket.
He added: “My immediate priority will be to work closely with our new chief executive officer Tom Harrison, my fellow board members and the rest of the ECB’s senior leadership team to develop a comprehensive new strategy to grow cricket’s appeal still further across more diverse communities in England and Wales.
“With an Ashes series this summer and ECB hosting ICC global events in 2017 and 2019, we have a fantastic opportunity to inspire more people to play, attend and follow cricket and build on our position as the country’s number one summer sport.”
Clarke is expected to take up the new role of ECB president, England’s primary representative in global administration after the revamp of policy at the International Cricket Council last year.
The ECB has followed suit with changes of its own, including the position of president - and the first incumbent will be confirmed on the recommendation of its nominations committee.
Graves’ tenure will be five years, rather than the constitutional four, to avoid the need for an election in 2019 - when England is due to host the next World Cup.
Graves spoke more specifically on Tuesday evening about the changes he believes may be appropriate in English cricket.
He said: “When you look at cricket overall, I think it’s got some challenges ahead.
“The attendances at Test matches are going down; Twenty20 hasn’t been as successful as we thought it would have been; the 50-over competition is certainly not drawing in the crowds.
“I think we need to look at the way the county championship is structured, and how much cricket we play. I think we need to de-congest the whole season ... and I think we’ve got to look at an English [Twenty20] Premier League somewhere - how we can fit that into the calendar.
“At the end of five years, if people turn round and say ‘Colin Graves has changed English cricket for the good, and it’s more entertaining, better to watch ...’, and everybody’s happier with the game, then I’ll be highly delighted.”