Yorkshire name Lord Kamlesh Patel new chairman after Roger Hutton resigns over racism scandal

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 (Getty Images for ECB)
(Getty Images for ECB)

Yorkshire have announced Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford as their new Director and Chairman following the resignation of Chair Roger Hutton and two other board members on Friday.

Yorkshire are in the midst of a scandal over institutional racism, sparked by the abuse and bullying of former player Azeem Rafiq while at the club.

The club’s management of Rafiq’s allegations has brought widespread criticism, with the Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Tom Harrison on Friday accusing them of bringing the game into disrepute.

Current and former players Gary Ballance and Michael Vaughan have been caught up in the crisis, sponsors have fled the club, and the ECB have stripped them of the right to host international cricket while an investigation takes place. The DCMS Select Committee will hear evidence of the matter – from Rafiq and senior figures at Yorkshire – on November 16.

Until Friday, no senior figure at the club had resigned over the matter. Hutton, who had only been in post since April 2020, became the first to go, criticising the club’s other leaders for failing to depart. Mark Arthur, the CEO, and Martyn Moxon, the Director of Cricket, are under particular pressure for their jobs.

The Board met on Friday and announced that Lord Patel would take over from Hutton. Patel, 61, is a former member of the ECB Board.

“I’m looking forward to taking this Club forward and driving the change that is needed,” said Patel.

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

“There is much work to do, including reading the panel’s report, so we can begin the process of learning from our past mistakes.

“Yorkshire is lucky to have a vast talent pool of cricketers, and passionate supporters, from all of our communities and we must re-engage with everyone to make a better Yorkshire County Cricket Club for everyone.”

In addition, Hanif Malik OBE and Stephen Willis stepped down from the Board, while Neil Hartley intends to step down soon.

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