London: Born to Indian parents Professor Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford, an OBE and one of the leading voice on health, social care and community cohesion in UK has been appointed member of Boards of Director by the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and he is also become the 1st British-Asian to join the ECB.
Patel will be replacing Lord Morris of Handsworth who is stepping down from the Board after eleven years as an ECB Director. Lord Patel, who currently sits in the House of Lords as a labour peer and worked as a part time coach for the Yorkshire Cricket Academy.
Lord Patel said: “Cricket has been a life-long passion of mine and this is a great honour for me. I am a huge advocate of what the sport can bring to the wider community – from instilling life-skills like self-discipline and leadership to improving fitness and tackling wider issues like obesity.
“I am also naturally very honoured and proud to be the first British Asian chosen to serve as an ECB Board Director and keen to explore ways in which cricket can better engage with Britain’s diverse communities, particularly the South Asian community, and take full advantage of the many different ways in which we can widen the game’s appeal still further.”
Lord Patel is the former ambulance-man, special constable and social worker and also a former chairman of the Mental Health Act Commission. He served as a government minister in the House of Lords from 2008-2009 on the shadow front-bench in the upper house from 2010-2012, currently a Professor at the University of East London and chair of the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust.
ECB Chairman Colin Graves said: “Lord Patel’s instinctive grasp of the role cricket plays in uniting communities and crossing social barriers will be all important as we continue to change how we work as an organisation”.