Sanjay Patel joins ECB as Perera steps down

Sanjay Patel has become the new chief sales and marketing officer of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Patel will move from his role as marketing strategy and planning director at Heineken to replace John Perera, who is stepping down at the end of the year after over nine years in his role as commercial director.

ECB deputy chairman Colin Graves, the founder of supermarket chain Costcutter who is also chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, will also assume the new role of chairman of the ECB's board's commercial committee.

Speaking of Patel's appointment, ECB chief operating officer Gordon Hollins said: "This is a new position which will oversee all the board's sales and marketing activity, manage relationships with commercial partners and implement our new digital media strategy.

"Sanjay has a wealth of experience of working with major brands and a proven track record of delivering commercial success. We are delighted to have secured his services and he will take a lead role in shaping our commercial strategy as we go forward." 

Since becoming commercial director in May 2005, Perera has overseen two sets of domestic media rights deals with Sky Sports, Channel 5 and the BBC, as well as the sale of international rights, and has brought in sponsors for the England team and domestic and international fixtures.

ECB chief executive David Collier said Perera had left a "hugely impressive” legacy which had allowed for “substantial investments” across English cricket one and left the sport “extremely well placed to develop further”.