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February 14, 2022

Lancashire CCC brings FA’s commercial head Singh onto board; Yorkshire hosting ban lifted

Lancashire County Cricket Club, one of England’s 18 professional first-class domestic teams, have brought on board Navin Singh, the commercial director for English soccer’s Football Association (FA), as a non-executive board member.

By Euan Cunningham

Lancashire County Cricket Club, one of England’s 18 professional first-class domestic teams, have brought on board Navin Singh, the commercial director for English soccer’s Football Association (FA), as a non-executive board member.

Singh was appointed onto the club’s board of directors late last week, although for confirmation the decision will be put to the club’s members at the Lancashire CCC annual general meeting in April.

At Lancashire, he will link up with Andy Anson, the former head of the FA’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup who is now the club’s chair. (Anson has held other senior roles previously at soccer heavyweights Manchester United and at the British Olympic Association.)

Singh, in his current role with the FA, is responsible for leading the commercial strategy of all representative national soccer teams, the national stadium of Wembley, the FA Cup knockout competition, and the women’s FA WSL.

He joined the FA in 2021, following five years as the chief commercial officer at the US Golf Association (USGA), where he was responsible for the global commercial and broadcast sales strategies for both the men’s and women’s major golf events in that country.

He has also held major roles in the past at sports properties such as the Wassermann talent agency, the Golf Channel, and the Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment promotion.

A major part of his role at Lancashire will be to assist with the club’s media strategy, including the in-house Lancs TV, using the above record and both digital and broadcast media sales and operations.

Singh said: “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with and assist, the club on a number of ongoing projects to ensure that we lead the way with our digital media output, the already well established live stream broadcast, maximize commercial opportunities in the UK and further afield and build a brighter and sustainable future for the club.”

Anson added: “Navin’s appointment follows a transparent recruitment process which was led by a desire to appoint somebody onto the board with a background and experience in international digital media. We believe that Navin, adds further strength and expertise to our board.

“Navin has an impressive background in major sports businesses and will play a key role in assisting our development and growth.”

The club said, meanwhile, that despite a transparent recruitment process involving its members, none applied for the role.

Elsewhere in English cricket, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has provisionally lifted its suspension on Yorkshire CCC hosting internationals – as long as a set of requirements are implemented by March 31.

In the wake of the racism scandal that engulfed Yorkshire late last year following revelations by former player Azeem Rafiq, which has since led to the resignations or sackings of almost all senior personnel at the club, the ECB had stripped Yorkshire and its Headingley Stadium in Leeds of the right to host international fixtures for the foreseeable future.

This, if it had been enforced, would have removed the club’s biggest revenue source for the 2022 campaign, given that Headingley had two internationals scheduled.

However, the ECB has now said that following “the hard work and good progress made by the club”, the suspension has been lifted conditionally.

The further requirements are that the club resolves issues related to rule changes and decisions at the club that have been subject to procedural flaws and amends club rules relating to the appointment and operation of the board.

Overall, the ECB has assessed that Yorkshire CCC is now able to show a demonstrable commitment to building a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion; provide evidence that it is adopting a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination; and commit to identifying and tackling historic cases of discrimination.

Yorkshire has also made several longer-term commitments, including the appointment of a new board following the departure of almost all the previous executive team after the made by Rafiq and subsequent evidence given at a government inquiry.

Lord Patel of Bradford, the new Yorkshire CCC chair, said: “We have worked night and day to bring about tangible change at Yorkshire, and the removal of the sanctions has validated and reignited our drive for positive progress.

“I would like to thank the ECB for its support, and its robust challenge throughout the process.”

Headingley is now once again scheduled to play host to England’s third test against New Zealand in June, as well as to a one-day international against South Africa in July.

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