Leicestershire chair Duke resigns prior to planned departure

“Cricket has been torn apart by recent events and I am deeply saddened by the hurt felt by individuals within our game,” Mehmooda Duke said in a club statement

Last Updated: 26/11/21 8:43am

Mehmooda Duke has resigned as chair of Leicestershire with immediate effect, saying cricket has been “torn apart” by continuing allegations of racism.

She was one of only two people from ethnic minority groups to hold such a role across first-class cricket and had been due to step down from her role in March.

Duke, a lawyer who runs her own practice in Leicester, was also the only female chair of the country’s 18 biggest clubs.

“Cricket has been torn apart by recent events and I am deeply saddened by the hurt felt by individuals within our game,” Duke said in a club statement.

Vice-chairman Jonathan Duckworth will take on the role of interim chairman up until the club’s 2022 AGM.

Duke’s early resignation comes as the England and Wales Cricket Board prepares to release a 12-point action plan to combat racism.

An emergency summit of the sport’s leading decision-makers took place last week, days after Azeem Rafiq appeared in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee where he detailed in depth his own experiences of racism in cricket.

Duke, who was appointed Leicestershire chair in 2019, added: “With fresh leadership at national level and with a determination to learn from the recent past and move forward, I hope that racism and discrimination will be expunged from the dressing rooms, the fields, and the game as a whole, allowing us to celebrate the diversity which makes cricket and sport in this country so great.”

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