Yorkshire announce partnership with Lahore Qalandars


English county club Yorkshire, who are battling allegations of institutional racism, have teamed up with Pakistan Super League franchise Lahore Qalandars, in a bid to “reduce barriers to entry” into cricket.

The joint venture will allow the two clubs to mutually learn from each other, with Yorkshire especially keen to emulate the Qalandars’ players development program (PDP) and its successes with nurturing local talent.

Among the players to benefit from the PDP is international fast bowler Haris Rauf, who went for a trial in 2017 and is now a mainstay of both the Qalandars and Pakistan T20 sides. As part of the partnership, the 28-year-old will join Yorkshire as an overseas signing during the 2022 season on a player exchange programme. Young Yorkshire allrounder Harry Brook was picked up by the PSL franchise in the recent player draft.

Club chairman Lord Kamlesh Patel labelled the partnership “an exciting step” towards creating an inclusive cricket culture at Yorkshire.

“The work the Lahore Qalandars do both on and off the pitch is remarkable and can serve as a benchmark for clubs around the world – ours included – for how best to spot, foster, and support talent at all levels in the game of cricket,” he said.

Interim managing director of the club Darren Gough said, “I am thrilled to welcome the exceptionally talented Haris Rauf to our club. I am also excited by the opportunity to learn from the inspirational players’ development programme.

“I have spoken in the past about my passion for developing accessible pathways to cricket – for many people from a background like mine, cricket isn’t seen as an option, with the associated costs and access to facilities creating real barriers to entry. This partnership is an opportunity to take the blueprint the Qalandars has developed to such a success, and work with them to define how that can be used to provide access for potential players from across Yorkshire.”



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