Yorkshire meeting is 'first step' in cricket's fight against racism, says government committee

Next Thursday's meeting will allow voting on changes to the structure of Yorkshire's board, and is a condition for the restoration of international hosting rights at Headingley.

Yorkshire's Headingley stadium hasn't hosted an international cricket match since August 2021, following former player Azeem Rafiq's allegations of racism and bullying.

As a result of Rafiq's allegations, the club has undergone a rebuild, which saw a number of key figures and coaches stripped from the club.

With that rebuild still underway, part of the process is holding an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), where voting is allowed on any board changes at the club.

Two previous aborted attempts of the meeting piled pressure onto Yorkshire, but the meeting is now scheduled to go ahead on March 31.

New chairman Lord Kamlesh Patel will be present for the meeting, where the club are also expected to give an update on their process of encouraging more diversity and equality in the sport.

ECB restores Yorkshire’s right to host international matches at Headingley

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee chair Julian Knight is hoping the meeting will be the "first step " towards the club's "rehabilitation".

"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.

"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."

With the international hosting rights set to be restored at Headingley, the venue is set to play host to England's third Test against New Zealand in June.

However, while Knight was pleased to see Headingley's hosting rights restored, he insists that Yorkshire's restructuring process "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."

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