The England Cricket Board has announced today, that Yorkshire Cricket Club have been given the rights to host England games in the summer, subject to strict conditions being adhered to.
The Leeds based club have endured a difficult few months following the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal, where several current and former players were accused by Rafiq of racial discrimination.
This led to an outpour from the public, causing sponsors such as Nike and Yorkshire Tea to withdraw their investment into the club.
As a result, Coach, Andrew Gale, Director of Cricket, Martyn Moxon and 16 other members of staff were left with no other option than to leave the club.
As a result, they were banned from hosting any international games and are currently £16 million pounds in debt, registering a record loss of £8.5 million throughout the 2021 campaign.
The vast majority of Yorkshire’s income from the cricket season, comes from hosting England games at Headingley’s Emerald Stadium. The money generated makes up to 50% of the finances of the year.
The conditions that Yorkshire Cricket Club have to follow, state that they must resolve any issues relating to rule changes, as well as decisions which have been subject to procedural flaws. The club are also expected to make amendments to rules relating to the appointment and operation of the Board- Including the removal of Graves Trust powers.
This has been warmly received by club officials at Yorkshire, with the Chairman, Lord Patel saying: “I welcome this decision and thank the Board of the ECB for supporting the return of international matches at Headingley once again.
“We have worked night and day to bring about tangible change at Yorkshire, and the removal of the sanctions has validated and reignited our drive for positive progress.”
The ECB’s Chair and Cricket Non-Executive Director, Barry O’Brien, said: “The Board welcomed the hard work and actions taken by Yorkshire County Cricket Club towards putting the Club on a new path.
“Alongside the progress already made, we considered many factors in reaching our decision. Amongst them, the impact on fans who have bought tickets in good faith and the young people who will benefit from Yorkshire’s improved outreach and pathway provisions.
“Finally, the Board was mindful that the return of international cricket will support continued change and progress at the Club.’’