Crisis deepens at Yorkshire CCC as CEO resigns

Mark Arthur

The crisis at Yorkshire County Cricket Club has deepened this evening after chief executive Mark Arthur resigned over the club’s response to racism aimed at ex player Azeem Rafiq.

Arthur follows chairman Roger Hutton through the door at Yorkshire, which on Tuesday suspended coach Andrew Gale over a tweet he sent in 2010. Meanwhile, director of cricket Martyn Moxon is on leave from work over a “stress-related illness.”

Yorkshire have been suspended from hosting international matches by the ECB, while sponsors have walked away from deals they had with the club.

Lord Kamlesh Patel, new chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club

Professor The Lord Patel of Bradford, chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “Today (11 November) the board at Yorkshire County Cricket Club has accepted the resignation of Mark Arthur as CEO. We thank him for his tenure.

“This is an important moment for the club which is ready to move forward with new leadership, which will be vital in driving the change we urgently need.

“We know there is still much work to be done and more difficult decisions to be made. We need to rebuild the trust of the fans, the cricketing world and the public”.

Arthur said: “I’ve had eight fantastic years at The Yorkshire County Cricket Club, working alongside an outstanding group of people, and together achieving many highlights.

“I would like to thank the members for their support over this period and wish the club all the very best in the years to come.”

In the interim, the board has appointed Paul Hudson, finance director, as acting CEO.

Arthur’s departure comes only three days after Rafiq had urged both him and Moxon to quit.

An independent report has found Rafiq was a victim of “racial harassment and bullying” at Yorkshire but the club said it would not discipline anyone.

Since’s Rafiq’s original allegations surfaced, other players have also come forward to speak of racist behaviour at the club, including Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Irfan Amjad and Tabassum Bhatti.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed it will conduct a “full” investigation into the situation.

Addressing a press conference at Headingley Stadium earlier this week, Patel said: “There’s a clear need for an urgent and seismic change starting from within the club and I’m determined to lead the club to a better and more positive future.

“This club should be the pinnacle of English cricket and as a proud Yorkshireman myself it pains me to see it in this condition.”