Yorkshire: Structural reforms approved at EGM, allowing club to host England matches

Lord Patel
Lord Patel was appointed Yorkshire chair in November after Roger Hutton resigned

Yorkshire chair Lord Patel hailed an "overwhelming vote for positive change" after structural reforms at the club were approved.

Thursday's changes mean Yorkshire can host international matches again, having met criteria set out by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The ECB suspended the club's right to stage England games over its handling of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

"We thank the members for their full and proper consideration," said Patel.

"This support will help Yorkshire County Cricket Club to be an inclusive and welcoming place and gives us the clarity and certainty we need to keep building this great club."

Former spinner Rafiq said on social media: "Relieved to see Lord Patel's reforms backed today and that Yorkshire members chose a bright, inclusive future for my club.

"Big opportunity to show the world what can be achieved when you have strong leadership and good people."

Patel, who was appointed in November, said in January that Yorkshire faced a "huge financial crisis" if the ban was not lifted and that regaining its international status was key to the planned reforms.

Yorkshire's right to host England matches was reinstated subject to key requirements being met by the end of March.

The club held an extraordinary general meeting at Headingley on the day of the deadline and members overwhelmingly passed three special resolutions.

Former chairman Robin Smith had said that Patel's appointment was "invalid", but one of the three resolutions saw Patel confirmed as chair.

Members also voted in favour of changes to the composition of the board and the removal of legal liability from decisions made by board members since November.

An ECB spokesperson said the vote "is an important step forward in bringing about real change and setting the club on course for a more inclusive future".

They added: "However, there is much work still to be done at Yorkshire and it is important that the plans set out so far are now delivered. We will continue to monitor progress closely.

"Our regulatory investigation into the complaints brought by Azeem Rafiq, which is separate to this process, remains ongoing and we will update on this in due course."

Headingley is now set to host England's Test against New Zealand from 23 June and the final match of their one-day international against South Africa on 24 July.

It was announced on Friday that Surrey's African Caribbean Engagement Programme (ACE) will be extended across the country, including in Leeds.

It will also be expanded to Nottingham, Manchester and additional London boroughs.

ACE was established by former England batter Ebony Rainford-Brent at Surrey in 2020 to provide opportunities to cricketers from black communities.

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