sport

Yorkshire EGM ‘first step’ in cricket’s fight against racism, says DCMS committee chair Julian Knight | Cricket News


DCMS committee chair Julian Knight on Yorkshire’s EGM, which is set for March 31: “By voting for the reforms put forward by Lord Patel, Yorkshire members can continue the process of the club’s rehabilitation. This should be just the first step in cricket putting its house in order”

Last Updated: 24/03/22 1:44pm

Yorkshire County Cricket Club will hold an extraordinary general meeting on March 31 to vote on reforms to the structure of the board

Yorkshire County Cricket Club will hold an extraordinary general meeting on March 31 to vote on reforms to the structure of the board

Key reforms to be voted on at Yorkshire’s extraordinary general meeting next week should be seen as “the first step” in cricket’s fight against racism, according to the chair of the DCMS committee, Julian Knight.

Yorkshire will vote on changes to the structure of the board on March 31, with the England and Wales Cricket Board saying the reforms are a key condition of the club having international matches restored to Headingley.

The county had its right to host England games suspended following its handling of the racism allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq.

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq says there is still a long way to go to combat racism in the sport in the wake of comments made by Middlesex chair Mike O'Farrell to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq says there is still a long way to go to combat racism in the sport in the wake of comments made by Middlesex chair Mike O’Farrell to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq says there is still a long way to go to combat racism in the sport in the wake of comments made by Middlesex chair Mike O’Farrell to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee

Pressure started to mount on Yorkshire following two aborted previous attempts to hold the EGM after former chairman and current vice-president Robin Smith declared the new chairmanship of Lord Kamlesh Patel invalid.

‘Yorkshire can continue process of club’s rehabilitation’

Knight said: “Our view that sustained action is urgently needed to root out endemic racism in cricket is one that has now received overwhelming support from across the board.

“The ECB, Professional Cricketers’ Association and long-standing sponsors, who have severed their links with Yorkshire over the club’s approach to tackling the problem, are all now on the same page and the committee and the Government are speaking as one.

Headingley had its international rights suspended by the ECB following Yorkshire's handling of Rafiq's racism allegations

Headingley had its international rights suspended by the ECB following Yorkshire’s handling of Rafiq’s racism allegations

“Anyone who still fails to acknowledge the deep-seated nature of racism in the sport, while using distraction tactics to frustrate much-needed reforms, is in the minority.

“Next week, by voting for the reforms put forward by Lord Patel, Yorkshire members can continue the process of the club’s rehabilitation. This should be just the first step in cricket putting its house in order.

“Such a move however will not only secure the long-term future of the club by restoring international matches to Headingley but will act as a signal to the wider cricketing world that, with the right will, strong and determined action can be taken to tackle the scourge of racism that has stained the game.”

Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel admits it would be catastrophic if Test cricket were not to return to Headingley

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel admits it would be catastrophic if Test cricket were not to return to Headingley

Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel admits it would be catastrophic if Test cricket were not to return to Headingley

Government endorses DCMS recommendations

The DCMS committee had recommended that cricket face funding cuts if it failed to demonstrate it is ridding the game of racism, something which the Government has now endorsed.

It also supported the recommendation that the ECB provides quarterly updates on its progress on making the sport more inclusive.

The Government said in its response: “The Government will continue to call in the ECB quarterly and track their progress in tackling racism and increasing diversity, and will hold them to account for delivery against the joint 12-point action plan published in November 2021.

“This is in line with the ECB’s commitment to provide quarterly public updates against this plan.

“We expect to see evidence of improvements across the sport and delivery on the ECB’s ambition to eradicate racism from cricket.

“However if these changes are not made and implemented, the Government reserves the right to intervene
further. This has been made clear to the ECB and the first-class counties.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.