Three new directors appointed to Norfolk Cricket Board

29th April 2022

Norfolk Cricket Board (NCB) has appointed three new female directors to help drive cricket forward in the county.

Last year, a countrywide governance review by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), impacting all County Cricket Boards, encouraged counties to increase board diversity. The NCB worked with executive search specialists Perrett Laver, Sport England’s preferred recruitment partner, who provided advisory and search services to help identify and recruit the new directors.

NCB Chair Jane Hannah, who has recently taken on the role on a permanent basis from her initial interim appointment, became only the fourth female to chair one of the 39 County Cricket Boards across England and Wales. 

Jane said: “We had a highly impressive list of nine candidates which we then shortlisted for interview. I am delighted to say we have appointed three high-calibre new directors and we are all looking forward to welcoming them to the board.” 

The new appointments, which were approved at the NCB’s annual meeting on 29 March, mean NCB has become one of the first cricket boards in the country to exceed 40% gender balance on its board.

Jackie Thornton – Head of Development, Norwich City Community Sports Foundation. Jackie has a proven track record of securing funding to develop facilities and projects in the county, including Carrow Park and The Nest. She has helped to grow The Foundation from £250k to over £4m turnover and has excellent experience on the growth of women’s and girls football.

Allison Henshaw – Previously Regional Club and Facilities Manager (North) for the ECB.

This role included Allison supporting county cricket boards with their facilities and local playing pitch strategies and helping to manage investment portfolios and investments around facilities.  Allison has an excellent working knowledge of cricket boards and clubs.

Professor Helena Gillespie – Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Inclusion, UEA.

Helena has worked across the whole education spectrum from early years to her current position within Higher Education at the UEA. Helena’s main responsibility currently is the university policy in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion for students. Helena’s other experiences include managing large budgets and widening participation.

Lewis Denmark, NCB Cricket Development Director, said: “The board governance review has taken the best part of 16-months to complete and has seen several long serving directors stand down. However, we now have an outstanding board comprising of 12 members led by Jane Hannah. The recent appointments of Allison, Helena and Jackie really excite me as they each bring unique qualities and skills that will help drive the board forward over the coming years throughout duration of the Inspiring Generations strategy. I’m really looking forward to working with them on projects along with the rest of the board members.”

The three new directors join three directors appointed last October. The NCB’s Safeguarding Officer Liz Plater was appointed as Safeguarding Lead Director. Stuart Bartram, current Swardeston Chair and Mark Scott, of Great Melton CC, were also appointed as Board directors. Current Board directors Ian Doy, Paul Hooton and Mike Hanby (Norfolk CCC representative) remain in post along with NCB Cricket Development Director Lewis Denmark and NCB Secretary David Bowker.

Jackie Thornton said: “I am delighted to join the board at an exciting time in the development of cricket in the county. Based on my football background, I’m sure there will be plenty of learning to enable me to gain a greater understanding on the challenges and opportunities within the game.”

Allison Henshaw said: “I am delighted to have joined the team at Norfolk Cricket Board and I’m very much looking forward to working with the Board and supporting Lewis and his team. It’s great to be able to continue to use my knowledge of facility planning matters for the recreational game as we start the process of writing a 10 year Norfolk cricket facility strategy tailored to present and future needs. I am passionate about what cricket offers everyone involved, whatever our age, on or off the field and welcoming and inclusive clubs and facilities are very much at the heart of this offer.”

Professor Hellen Gillespie said: “I am delighted to be joining the Norfolk Cricket Board at this important time and I look forward to supporting all their work in developing an inclusive cricket experience in the county. My appointment is a reflection of the commitment that UEA has to our Norfolk home.”


For more information please contact one of the following:

Jane Hannah
t: 07776 445500

Lewis Denmark
t: 07826856359

Stuart Bartram
t: 07714 126337