Former Yorkshire chairman Robin Smith has been accused of “endangering the future” of the county ahead of a crucial deadline later this month.
Julian Metherell, non-executive chair of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, made the comments with Yorkshire due to hold an extraordinary general meeting on March 31 where the club will attempt to vote through reforms proposed following its racism crisis.
The Headingley outfit had been set to hold an EGM on two previous occasions, but both needed to be rearranged while ex-chairman Smith, who still remains vice-president at the county, has publicly deemed the new chairmanship of Lord Kamlesh Patel invalid.
It resulted in a war of words between Lord Patel and Smith with Yorkshire’s future hinging on the England and Wales Cricket Board restoring its rights to host internationals at Headingley.
An announcement by the ECB last month confirmed its suspension had been lifted but on the proviso certain conditions were met by March 31, which included “resolving the issues relating to rules changes and decisions at the club” and “including removal of Graves Trust powers”.
PCA’s Metherell offered his support to Lord Patel when he spoke in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee in February and reiterated his fears for Yorkshire during an interview with Sportsmail published on Friday.
“The PCA are appalled and astonished by the actions of Robin Smith, whose behaviour is combative and corrosive,” Metherall said.
“He is endangering the future of one of the greatest clubs in England, and the careers of many cricketers and coaches. If the proposed reforms are not voted through at the EGM then the future of a great club is at risk. It’s absolute madness.
“People are losing sight of the fact that we have had serious allegations of bullying and racism upheld. And now we are seeing repeated incidences of threatening behaviour against Kamlesh Patel, who is trying to sort the mess out.”
Yorkshire lost a number of sponsors in the wake of Azeem Rafiq’s racism and bullying claims to further raise the importance of regaining their international status to boost the club’s financial situation.
The PA news agency has approached Yorkshire for a comment from vice-president Robin Smith.