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New Yorkshire chair Lord Kamlesh Patel stepped on front foot with powerful entrance at club

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RICHARD GIBSON: His voice broke with emotion at times, but Lord Kamlesh Patel came to the fore with a powerful entrance as he promises a brighter future for everyone in Yorkshire

  • Lord Kamlesh Patel grew up ten miles away in Bradford
  • Press conference as the new Yorkshire seat took place in Headingley’s eastern stand
  • Patel vowed to dedicate himself to providing a better future for everyone at a cricket club
  • He remembered his own childhood experiences when he had moved from Kenya at the age of one











“I want to find the next Joe Root, the next Virat Kohli, the next Babar Azam. This is their home, as it is mine. In the years to come, I say the door is wide open. Come and live your dreams here.’

As the entrances go, this was a pretty powerful one from Lord Kamlesh Patel, who grew up a dozen miles away in Bradford.

The press conference was held in the East Stand at Headingley, the walls of which house the Yorkshire cricket museum and are decorated with photos of players past and present.

As the inputs go, this was a pretty powerful one from the new Yorkshire chair Lord Kamlesh Patel

The press conference was held in Headingley's East Stand, whose walls house the Yorkshire Cricket Museum

The press conference was held in Headingley’s East Stand, whose walls house the Yorkshire Cricket Museum

At the center of the display is Ashes winning captain Michael Vaughan, who “completely and categorically denies” the racist remark he is accused of in the Azeem Rafiq report.

Next to him is Richie Richardson, the former captain of the West Indies. India great Sachin Tendulkar – Yorkshire’s first foreign player – aims his bat at both of them. On the left side of four panels, Adil Rashid unfolds a broken leg flanked by Brian Close and Sir Geoffrey Boycott. Some all-time greats. Some pretty diverse backgrounds.

With the thick Yorkshire accent of which he is openly proud, Patel vowed to dedicate himself to providing a brighter future for everyone at a cricket club he insists will once again be regarded as the best in the world.

Patel vowed to be committed to providing a brighter future for everyone at a cricket club following the Azeem Rafiq (above) report

Patel vowed to be committed to providing a brighter future for everyone at a cricket club following the Azeem Rafiq (above) report

There were times when his voice broke with emotion, including when he recalled his own childhood experiences, having moved from Kenya at the age of one.

He became a fast runner, he said, by dodging skinheads out for “P**i-bashing.” It was cricket that saved him. When he was appointed school principal, the bullying stopped.

Now he wants to save the province from the worst crisis. He is a caring and connected man, as you would expect from someone with an amazing career of pioneering social work. On Monday it was hard to miss his message that the Yorkshire of years to come will be one for all people.

Patel recalled his own childhood experiences, moving from Kenya at the age of one

Patel recalled his own childhood experiences, moving from Kenya at the age of one

The ECB’s Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) has opened its call for evidence to investigate discrimination and inequality in cricket.

The ICEC will focus on lived experiences, opening the window today and closing on December 21, and documentary evidence, starting next month.

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