The ECB is expected to make a decision on whether to restore international cricket to Headingley based on the outcome of Yorkshire’s extraordinary general meeting; EGM scheduled for Wednesday cancelled and will be rearranged for a later date
Last Updated: 02/02/22 3:46pm
A key meeting of Yorkshire members to vote on changes to the structure of the board has been cancelled, the club have said.
Wednesday evening’s extraordinary general meeting had been seen as a vital step in an overhaul to the club’s governance following former spinner Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism against the county.
A spokesperson for Yorkshire told the PA News agency that a new date for the EGM would be arranged.
Late last year, the England and Wales Cricket Board suspended Yorkshire from hosting international and major matches in the wake of the racism scandal and it was thought the decision on whether to restore England games to Headingley would be taken on the outcome of the EGM.
Headingley was due to host England’s third Test against New Zealand in June this year as well as the one-day international with South Africa in July.
Speaking to MPs last week, the ECB’s deputy chair, Martin Darlow said: „Once we’re through (the Yorkshire EGM), I anticipate the (ECB) board will be making a decision and considering their options soon after that.“
The ECB did not make any immediate comment regarding the cancellation of the meeting.
The Yorkshire spokesman said: „Yorkshire County Cricket Club can confirm that it has cancelled the extraordinary general meeting which was to take place on February 2 at Headingley, after it has come to our attention that the meeting was not properly called.
„The club will arrange for a further EGM to be convened as soon as practicable and preferably before the end of this month. At that meeting, the proposed changes to the governance of the club will be discussed and voted upon by members.“
Yorkshire were proposing to members that the club rules be amended, allowing up to eight independent non-executive directors who are not club members to be nominated to join the board, with up to two spaces on the board for club members.
Members were also being asked to consider a rule change to allow a representative of the ECB onto the board’s nominations committee.
Lord Patel, who took over as Yorkshire chair in November, told Sky Sports News last month that the club would face „two major catastrophes“ if international cricket did not return to the club this summer.
He said: „One [catastrophe] is hundreds of thousands of fans, boys and girls, Yorkshire people, will suffer tremendously because we miss out and secondly there would be a major financial crisis.
„Many of the existing sponsors hopefully will return to us in the coming weeks – a lot of new sponsors have come and spoken to us, but a lot of it rests on the idea that we get international games back.“
Speaking to the Daily Mail in January, Rafiq said Yorkshire’s international ban should be lifted.
The 30-year-old – who gave evidence at an emotional DCMS hearing in November – believes the county has moved „in the right direction“ since Lord Patel’s appointment as chair.
Rafiq said: „I believe the time is right to say [Yorkshire] should be given back the international cricket so vital to their very survival.
„The people of Yorkshire should be able to watch England in Test and white-ball games at Headingley this summer.
„If we are asking an institution to look at itself then we should recognise when it begins to show it is genuinely sorry and attempts to start putting things right.
„Yorkshire need to be supported and helped to move in that right direction. They do seem willing to do the right thing now. Hopefully their actions under new chair Lord Patel have shown that.“