Yorkshire chair Lord Kamlesh Patel has received the backing of Julian Metherell, non-executive chair at the Professional Cricketers’ Association, in the wake of another challenging week for the county.
The Headingley outfit were set to hold an extraordinary general meeting on Wednesday which was seen as key in bringing about a culture of change in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism crisis, that resulted in the England and Wales Cricket Board taking away the club’s rights to host international matches.
It had to be cancelled after the club discovered it had not properly called the meeting, with a Yorkshire statement insisting the former leadership had failed to file amended club rules with the Financial Conduct Authority that would allow for an EGM to be called by electronic means and not just by post.
Ex-chair Robin Smith told the Yorkshire Post the same failing meant Lord Patel’s chairmanship of the club was invalid, which resulted in the current chair hitting out at a group of individuals who are “actively seeking to delay and derail the essential reforms” required, with a legal dispute now ongoing.
Metherell appeared in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Tuesday to discuss the support the PCA provided for Rafiq and when asked about recent events at Yorkshire, he said: “We only know what we read in the press and what Lord Patel has said but if they are accurate, it is abhorrent and totally obstructive.
“Frankly these are some of the great barriers we face in trying to make cricket a more inclusive place for the game we love.
“These minorities cannot prevail, they won’t win and with your support, and the support of the other key stakeholders, we have got to drive this out of the game. There is no place for it in cricket.”
PCA chief executive Rob Lynch had earlier been drawn on the issue by DCMS committee chair Julian Knight during the parliamentary session.
“This is Yorkshire County Cricket Club, one of, if not the most, famous cricket club in the world, and to watch these events unfold is extremely saddening,” Lynch said.
“I think the progress Lord Patel is trying to put in place is absolutely the right direction and as we have hopefully shown this morning our objective is to move forward.
“I am not across the detail in regard to what the members are doing, the small group of individuals.
“Our focus in Yorkshire is the current players up there and ensuring their welfare and we are spending a lot of time up there because there is a group of individuals very uncertain about what is going on around them. That is where we will maintain our focus within the environment.”