Prediction of cricbuzz: Kamlesh Patel to step down as Yorkshire leader in March

Patel, 62, took over from Roger Hutton in November 2021 when the club was in crisis and was tasked with guiding them through a racism scandal involving Azeem Rafiq.

Kamlesh Patel will step down from his role as president of Yorkshire County Cricket Club in March, the club announced on Friday.

Patel, 62, took over from Roger Hutton in November 2021 when the club was in crisis and was tasked with guiding them through a racism scandal involving Azeem Rafiq.

The Pakistani and former England U19 captain Rafiq said he felt like an outsider in Yorkshire and even considered suicide after being subjected to racism in September 2020.

Following an independent report on the allegations, a number of sponsors ended their partnerships with Yorkshire and the club was banned from playing any international or major matches by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Following Patel’s appointment, all members of the club’s coaching team left, including director of cricket Martyn Moxon and coach Andrew Gale. Patel also initiated a whistleblower hotline at the club, among other reforms.

England’s cricket board lifted Yorkshire’s ban on hosting international cricket at Headingley in February last year after the club approved structural changes to the board, following which Rafiq welcomed the reforms and praised Patel’s leadership.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to work for such a prestigious organisation,” said Patel, who will step down at the club’s next annual general meeting (AGM) in March.

“There is still much for the club to do, but I have the strongest faith that Yorkshire will be back at the pinnacle of English cricket for the long-term.”

Rafiq responded to Patel’s departure by tweeting:
“So much to say on this but for now – Lord Kamlesh Patel should be thanked for making sure Yorkshire is (sic) still got the lights on.”

Yorkshire chief executive Stephen Vaughan said Patel should be proud of what he had achieved during his tenure at the club. “A structure in place is essential to ensure that Yorkshire is a club that people can be proud of,” Vaughan said.

Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our club and I look forward to working with our Board, leadership team and new chairperson to continue this meaningful journey of change. “

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