Lord Patel announces he will step down as Yorkshire chair after turbulent spell

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Lord Patel is stepping down from his role at Yorkshire County Cricket Club (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Lord Patel is stepping down from his role at Yorkshire County Cricket Club (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Lord Patel has announced that his is stepping down as chairman of Yorkshire after a turbulent year at the club.

Patel became Yorkshire CCC chairman last November in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal. As a result of the scandal, the ECB banned Yorkshire from hosting "international or major matches", which was later lifted.

A turbulent time at the club saw head coach Andrew Gale and members of the backroom staff relieved of their duties as a result of the Rafiq scandal. Patel has now announced he will step down with his replacement confirmed at the club's AGM in March.

He will continue to oversee the club's response in connection to those racism allegations and the fallout.

Former Yorkshire chairman Robin Smith has been one of his vocal critics calling for him to step down and claiming his time in charge has been " riddled with mistakes and damage".

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"I have achieved most of the things I came in to achieve but, in doing so, I have attracted some fierce criticism," Patel told the Cricketer. "My hope is that when I go, I will take the criticism with me and the new management at the club will be able to move forward without any of that baggage.

"Personally, I can live with the criticism. But it is damaging to the club for so many staff hours to be consumed by these issues. Ironically, I would have left the club much quicker - which seems to be what they want - had they not tried so hard to derail me. I never sought to be Yorkshire chair. I never wanted to be in the role for years and years. I was here to do a job and that job is complete."

Lord Patel announces he will step down as Yorkshire chair after turbulent spellLord Patel hopes that the new management at Yorkshire County Cricket Club will be able to move forward without any baggage (PA)

During his time in charge Patel has had to oversee legal challenges in the fallout to the departures. In September Gale agreed a settlement with Yorkshire CCC including a 'six-figure compensation package' according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The ECB announced they had conditionally lifted Yorkshire's ban subject to the club voting through further reforms. However, two planned meetings were scrapped due to 'procedural' issues. The reforms were eventually voted through at the 11th hour and they were rewarded with an England Test match against New Zealand and one-day versus South Africa.

Last month Patel appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee and said that he felt the ECB's 'regulatory approach is completely flawed'.

Benjamin Goddard

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