Yorkshire County Cricket Club can continue hosting international cricket at Headingley after its members voted in favor of governance reforms to meet the conditions set forth by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
ECB barred Yorkshire from hosting international cricket matches in the wake of former spinner Azeem Rafiq’s racism scandal. The ban was lifted in February on conditions that the club approves structural changes to its board.
Rafiq’s allegation led to the resignation of then-chairman Roger Hutton whose November replacement Kamlesh Patel has been formally confirmed as Yorkshire’s new chairman.
Rafiq, an English player of Pakistani descent and a former captain of the England Under-19s, said last year he was made to feel like an outsider at Yorkshire and alleged that he suffered from “institutional racism” at the club.
“This support will help Yorkshire County Cricket Club to be an inclusive and welcoming place and gives us the clarity and certainty we need to keep building this great club.
Headingley is currently scheduled to host England’s third test against visiting New Zealand from June 24th and the final match of their one-day international series against South Africa in July.
Rafiq, who has been at the heart of this change, welcomed the reforms and praised Patel’s leadership.
“Relieved to see Lord Patel’s reforms backed today and that Yorkshire members chose a bright, inclusive future for my club,” the 30-year-old wrote on Twitter.
“Big opportunity to show the world what can be achieved when you have strong leadership and good people