Yorkshire facing uncertain future with Lord Patel to stand down as chairman

  • Chairman to leave in March after ‘sobering’ 16 months in charge
  • Patel ‘surprised and disappointed’ at lack of contact from ECB

Yorkshire have announced that Kamlesh Patel is to step down as chair in March after a wildly dramatic and sometimes controversial 16 months in the role. Lord Patel, who was appointed in November 2021, reshaped the club’s governance in the wake of Azeem Rafiq’s revelations of racial abuse while at Yorkshire. He also secured the return of both international cricket and commercial sponsors, seeing off the potentially disastrous possibility that the club might permanently lose them as a result of their poor initial response to the scandal.

Patel’s decision throws the future of the county back into uncertainty, though he will continue to oversee their response to Cricket Discipline Commission charges relating to accusations of racism. “I have achieved most of the things I came in to achieve but, in doing so, I have attracted some fierce criticism,” he said. “My hope is that when I go, I will take the criticism with me and the new management at the club will be able to move forward without any of that baggage.”

His time in Yorkshire has been marked by often hostile reporting from the Yorkshire Post, and what he described as attempts to “delay and derail essential reforms” by a group of high-profile critics led by the former chair Robin Smith. Under his stewardship the club has made it easier for whistleblowers to report discrimination, improved governance processes, appointed a new and more diverse board and made matchdays more inclusive, including the introduction of more alcohol-free areas.

Patel, who rejected the role twice before his appointment, appeared in front of the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee last month, where he described a “sobering year”.

“Yorkshire has just begun the journey. We are on a long journey and a lot of people are going to have to get off the bus along the way,” he said. Having criticised at the DCMS committee a lack of support from the England & Wales Cricket Board, on Friday he said he was “surprised and disappointed” that they again failed to contact him after it.

“Kamlesh should be extremely proud of what he has achieved at Headingley during his tenure as chair,” said Stephen Vaughan, who was appointed as CEO last November. “The structures that have been put in place are vital in ensuring that Yorkshire is a club that people are proud to be associated with. Equality, diversity and inclusivity are at the heart of our club and I am excited to … continue on this journey of meaningful change.”


Simon Burnton

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Yorkshire admit four charges in ECB racism inquiry as Pyrah pulls out
Yorkshire will no longer have to take part in CDC hearings next month after admitting four charges while Michael Vaughan has been left as the only participant

Simon Burnton

07, Feb, 2023 @12:42 PM

Article image
Yorkshire racism hearing reached one clear verdict: from now on there is no excuse | Mark Ramprakash
Azeem Rafiq will have wanted vindication but at least we have a decisive understanding of what is and what is not acceptable

Mark Ramprakash

01, Apr, 2023 @12:48 PM

Article image
It is tempting to see no winners but ECB’s judgment is a victory for Rafiq | Barney Ronay
This saga is an observation porthole into English cricket and, beyond that, Yorkshire CCC and wider society

Barney Ronay

31, Mar, 2023 @8:00 PM

Article image
Yorkshire CCC chairman resigns as Rafiq racism case fallout deepens
Roger Hutton has announced his resignation as chairman of Yorkshire in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism allegations

Ali Martin Cricket correspondent

05, Nov, 2021 @9:06 PM

Article image
Yorkshire CCC could receive foreign investment in refinancing plan
Reports have suggested interest from Saudi and Indian investors, while the beleaguered club owe the former chairman Colin Graves’ trust £14.9m

Tanya Aldred at Headingley

05, May, 2023 @4:11 PM

Article image
Yorkshire racism hearing to be held in public after request from Azeem Rafiq
The Cricket Disciplinary Commission has granted a request for transparency in the Yorkshire racism inquiry from the central witness Azeem Rafiq, meaning the case will be held in public

Ali Martin

02, Nov, 2022 @10:52 PM

Article image
Liam Norwell’s nine-wicket haul saves Warwickshire and relegates Yorkshire
The Warwickshire hero bowled through the Hampshire lineup to avoid the drop while Yorkshire and Gloucestershire await confirmation of relegation

Ali Martin at Edgbaston

29, Sep, 2022 @6:39 PM

Article image
Yorkshire would have gone bankrupt without Tests return, admits Lord Patel
Lord Patel, Yorkshire’s chairman, said: ‘Back in November, this Test seemed a very distant opportunity,’ and called for ‘systemic change’ in English cricket

Simon Burnton at Clean Slate Headingley

23, Jun, 2022 @2:30 PM

Article image
Yorkshire chairman to propose reduction in first-class counties
The Yorkshire chairman, Colin Graves, has said a reduction in the number of first-class counties should be considered

David Hopps

21, Nov, 2011 @8:58 PM

Article image
IPL and other T20 franchise leagues ‘pose threat to ECB’s financial future’
The ECB has warned of the potentially cataclysmic impact of the rising power of overseas franchises such as the IPL while the appeal of Test cricket declines

Simon Burnton

10, May, 2023 @5:48 PM