Yorkshire CCC streets ahead of the rest on pathway/EDI improvements, says Harry Chathli

HARRY CHATHLI believes Yorkshire are “two years ahead of where everybody else is” in terms of their pathway programme and EDI improvements.

The former Yorkshire chair told the Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) select committee that the club had been transformed by the racism crisis.

“The club that I joined has been transformed completely from what we had read about the club back in 2019,” he told MPs.

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“The pathway programme, for example, and everything else… I can quite safely say that we are at least two years ahead of where everybody else is, and that is quite phenomenal.”

Harry Chathli. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comHarry Chathli. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Harry Chathli. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Chathli said of the work undertaken: “The club introduced measures which increased access to households from lower income.

“We removed match fees. We removed the provision of the kit (costs). Winter coaching has been provided free of charge, and an accessible hardship fund has been created for those that require further financial support as well.”

Yorkshire say their focus on increasing accessibility drove a 40 per cent increase in attendees for regional observations in 2022, with more than 2,000 budding cricketers having attended in 2023 and so far this year.

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Within the girls county age group system, Yorkshire say 78 per cent are from a state school and 18 per cent from a diverse background. Within the boys age group, the figures are 71 per cent state school and 30 per cent diverse background.

Colin Graves, the new Yorkshire chair, has pledged to keep the pathway system free, while Sanjeev Gandhi, a new board member, will be appointed to oversee the club’s EDI development.

Meanwhile, Chathli told MPs that he was “perplexed” by comments from Lord Mann that the club turned down viable refinancing partners in favour of Graves.

“I’m quite perplexed by the statement that Lord Mann made and the one that Azeem (Rafiq) has referred to,” he said.

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“The club met with Lord Mann on several occasions. Discussions were held which stated clearly to Lord Mann - as we did with every other party that we spoke to, either broker or adviser - the criteria we would require in order to consider any particular bid.

“From those discussions, the feedback that we received was either that the counterparty was not ready to make an offer, the timing would be too great - six, nine months from now, etc, so I’m quite perplexed by the statement made by Lord Mann.”

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