Yorkshire County Cricket Club Names Lord Patel New President After Roger Hutton Resigns to Handle Azeem Rafiq’s Racism Case | Cricket News


Yorkshire President Roger Hutton (left) resigned for club management of Azeem Rafiq racism case

Yorkshire County Cricket Club has appointed Bradford’s Lord Kamlesh Patel as its new president, replacing Roger Hutton who resigned over the club’s response to Azeem Rafiq’s racist scandal.

Hutton left before the emergency meeting on Friday and called on the other board members to consider their positions and step down.

That call was heeded, with the club confirming that non-executive directors Hanif Malik and Stephen Willis had also resigned.

Vice President Neil Hartley will remain on the board to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership, but he also intends to step down in the near future – Sky Sports News He learned.

Yorkshire was heavily criticized for handling the case

Discussing his new role, Lord Patel said: “I am looking forward to taking this club forward and leading the necessary change.

“The club needs to learn from its past mistakes, regain trust and rebuild relationships with our communities.

“There is a lot of work to be done, including reading the panel report, so we can begin the learning process from our past mistakes.

“Yorkshire is fortunate to have a large pool of cricket talent and passionate supporters from all of our communities and we must re-engage with everyone to create a better Yorkshire County Cricket Club for all.”

The resignation followed an investigation that found Rafiq was the victim of racial harassment and bullying – with the club saying it would take no disciplinary action.

The ECB said it was “clear” that Yorkshire’s handling of the issue was “totally unacceptable and causing serious damage to the reputation of the game.”

Yorkshire County Cricket Club Board of Directors

President: Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford
Vice President: Neil Hartley
Chief Executive Officer: Mark Arthur
Executive Director: Martyn Moxon
Executive Director: Mark Arthur
Non-executive director: Trevor Strain
Non-Executive Director: Neil Hartley
* Former President Roger Hutton resigned
* Non-executive director Hanif Malik resigned
* Non-executive director Stephen Willis has resigned
* Vice President Neil Hartley plans to leave after the transition period

Former president Hutton – who joined the club’s board of directors in 2020 – released a statement earlier on Friday confirming his decision to step down and suggested senior Yorkshire executive members were not getting enough on the Rafiq’s experiences are serious.

“I have never met Azeem and I was not at the club while he was employed. I do know however that when someone makes serious claims like yours, they need to be investigated and changes need to be made,” Hutton said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize unreservedly to Azeem. The club should have recognized at the time the serious allegations of racism.

“I am sorry that we have failed to persuade the executive members of the board to recognize the gravity of the situation and show care and contrition.

“I am disappointed that legal restrictions, including an ongoing labor court, have prevented the investigation report from being published and I look forward to the moment when everyone will be able to see your recommendations. I hope it will be published as soon as possible.

“I want to be clear that when I was informed of Azeem Rafiq’s allegations, I immediately contacted the ECB to ask for their help and intervention in support of a solid investigation.

“I was sorry when they refused to help because I felt it was a very important issue for the game as a whole.”

‘ECB did not act; Yorkshire was reluctant to change ‘

Refuting the ECB’s claims that Yorkshire’s handling of the case was well below expected standards, Hutton even accused the national governing body of showing reluctance to act on the allegations.

“As a matter of fact, I have continually expressed my frustration at the ECB’s reluctance to act,” added Hutton.

“There has been a constant reluctance on the part of the executive board members and the club’s senior management to apologize, to accept that there is racism and to look forward.

Sky Sports News' Geraint Hughes says Roger Hutton's resignation was expected

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Sky Sports News’ Geraint Hughes says Roger Hutton’s resignation was expected

Sky Sports News’ Geraint Hughes says Roger Hutton’s resignation was expected

“For much of my time at the club, I have experienced a culture that refuses to accept change or challenge.

“During my tenure as president, I take responsibility for failing to get them to take appropriate and timely action. This frustration was shared by all non-executive board members, some of whom even resigned.

“I now ask those executive board members to step down, to make way for a new path to the club I love so much.

“Of course I will continue to collaborate fully with the ECB and the invitation to testify to the Select Committee of the House of Commons.

“The club has some brilliant people and has done a lot to be proud of, particularly the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, and I want to see more basic education in the game to end racism forever.

“I look forward to the time when Yorkshire County Cricket Club will be a great club again and I will always support those who share my love for the club and wish our supporters and the team well.”

In response to Hutton’s statement, an ECB spokesperson said: “The Yorkshire CCC contacted us early in the investigation asking to work with them to explore Azeem’s allegations of racism and bullying against the club.

“Our role is to act as regulator throughout the game. We must act independently of any club investigation, should we ever be required to act as regulator, during or after.

“The reason our governance is structured in this way is perfectly demonstrated by the way these issues have unfolded at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club.”

Rafiq, reacting to the news on Twitter, reiterated his claim that it was, and remains, a reluctance on Yorkshire’s part to accept responsibility and apologize.

Rafiq’s tweet read: “There has been constant reluctance from executive board members. [Arthur and Moxon are the executive members of the board] and the club’s senior management to apologize and accept racism and look forward. “

‘Rafiq has shamed the game in acting; the system failed him ‘

ESPNcricinfo senior correspondent George Dobell believes Yorkshire did not accept the issue of racism in the club following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq

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ESPNcricinfo senior correspondent George Dobell believes Yorkshire did not accept the issue of racism in the club following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq

ESPNcricinfo senior correspondent George Dobell believes Yorkshire did not accept the issue of racism in the club following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq

This view is shared by ESPNcricinfo correspondent George Dobell who said Sky Sports News that Yorkshire has not done enough and is a “textbook case of institutional racism”.

Dobell said: “Cricket reflects society, but I think Yorkshire is worse than anywhere else I’ve lived in cricket. The difference I see is that other clubs probably accept that they have a problem and want to improve.

“Yorkshire do not accept that they have a problem, they do not accept that they have done something wrong and therefore they do not accept that they have to change.

“I’m afraid that acknowledging guilt is the first step towards a remedy. I don’t think it’s about individuals, although many will be embarrassed or ashamed in the next few days.

“A key issue is that Azeem reported this stuff, four years ago I think he was. He reported it to the club several times, he reported it to the union and he reported it to the ECB, and nobody did anything.

“He shamed the game by making it play, and it shouldn’t be. The system let him down.

“I think it’s an absolutely textbook case of institutional racism and I think the Yorkshire people at the club have shown they are incapable of dealing with it. They’ve had a lot of time and their time is up.”


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