Yorkshire keep hold of England Test matches after members ratify reforms in wake of racism scandal

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Yorkshire keep hold of England Test matches after members ratify Lord Kamlesh Patel as the club’s new chair and series of reforms in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal

  • Lord Kamlesh Patel formally confirmed as the new chair of Yorkshire
  • Fears the county cricket club could go bust if the reforms were not approved
  • ECB threatened to move Test and ODI matches if the vote went the other way

Yorkshire have retained their lucrative England fixtures this summer after members on Thursday night voted in Lord Kamlesh Patel as the club’s new chair.

The ECB threatened to move June’s Test against New Zealand and a one-day international versus South Africa the following month, plus an Ashes Test next year, if Patel’s position and other governance changes were not rubber-stamped by the end of March.

Two rearrangements of the emergency general meeting due to procedural challenges by opponents of Patel meant the passing of the three resolutions required was delivered within hours of that deadline.

Yorkshire have retained their lucrative England fixtures this summer after Thursday's meeting

Yorkshire have retained their lucrative England fixtures this summer after Thursday’s meeting

English cricket’s governing body stipulated the requirements in the aftermath of Azeem Rafiq’s whistle-blowing on racism at the club.

After being ratified as chair, along with Paul Hudson as chief executive, by an overwhelming majority of 932-155, with 22 abstentions, Patel said: ‘We welcome the outcome of this EGM and thank the members for their full and proper consideration, an open exchange of views, and their votes.

‘It is an overwhelming vote for positive change. 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.’

Revenue from major match days is crucial to the club’s immediate health and there were bankruptcy fears had the vote gone the other way.

Lord Kamlesh Patel (above) has been formally confirmed as the new chair of Yorkshire

Lord Kamlesh Patel (above) has been formally confirmed as the new chair of Yorkshire 

The new regime also claimed recently that sponsors who had quit in their droves following Rafiq’s harrowing testimony to the DCMS select committee last November were ready to return if change was passed.

One compromise on the proposed reforms is a reduction from eight non-executive directors to six, with two member representatives making up the difference and ensuring the club’s supporters retain a voice.

An ECB investigation into complaints of racism and bullying by former England Under-19 captain Rafiq continues.

The ECB acknowledged the significance of the motions passed but warned there was much work to do in ‘bringing about real change and setting the club on course for a more inclusive future,’ and that developments would continue to be monitored closely.

There were fears Yorkshire could go bust if the reforms were not approved by members

There were fears Yorkshire could go bust if the reforms were not approved by members 

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