Ebony Rainford-Brent, the former England batter who won the World Cup and later founded the African-Caribbean Engagement (ACE) program, is about to become one of two new non-executive directors for cricket who will join the ECB board.
Following the announcement of the appointments of Penny Avis, Baroness Zahida Manzoor, Jennifer Owen Adams, and Gareth Williams as new non-executive directors last month, the ECB board has now been completely restructured with the additions of Rainford-Brent and sports development expert Pete Ackerley. Additionally, Katie Bickerstaffe was reappointed as a senior independent non-executive director for an additional three-year term.
Richard Thompson, the ECB chair, stated that he was “delighted” to announce the additions to the board. “Our board is powerful and diversified, with a depth of knowledge and breadth of abilities.
“Ebony is a special talent; she is a trailblazer who excelled both on and off the field. She shares my urgency for further advancement in the creation of a truly inclusive sport because her ACE program has already had a significant positive impact on providing opportunities for young people from Black neighborhoods.
“Pete also brings with him a wealth of knowledge about other sports and a tremendous amount of cricketing expertise. He will be a tremendous contribution to the board because of his extensive experience in the recreational game.
“Katie Bickerstaffe’s appointment as a senior non-executive director makes me very happy, too. Because of her passion for expanding the game and her experience in a variety of senior roles, Katie has already made a significant impact over the previous three years.
The first black woman to represent England and a member of the squads that won the World Cup and World T20 in 2009, Rainford-Brent collaborated with Thompson while serving as director of women’s cricket at Surrey. She earned 29 caps between 2001 and 2010. She has worked as a broadcaster for the BBC and Sky Sports since her retirement.
Ackerley currently serves as the British American Football Association’s chief executive officer. He has also worked with the Lancashire Cricket Foundation, the Lord’s Taverners, the England and Wales Cricket Trust, and the Football Association in the past. Ackerley previously served on the ECB’s participation and growth board. He was once the ECB’s chief of development.
The appointments, which are expected to be approved at Wednesday’s annual general meeting, will fill openings left by Brenda Trenowden’s passing, Jim Wood’s departure after serving his allotted number of years on the board, and the non-renewal of Valerie Amos, Martin Darlow, Barry O’Brien, and Lucy Pearson.