After seeing signs of positive change at Yorkshire CCC since Lord Patel took over as chair, Azeem Rafiq has called upon the ECB to reinstate the club's right to host international cricket at Headingley.
Lord Patel, who replaced Roger Hutton as chair in November, told the Yorkshire Post on Wednesday that he was "working hell-for-leather" to meet the ECB's set of criteria before an early-spring deadline, and Rafiq wrote in a newspaper column that he hoped Headingley was able to host internationals in 2022.
Rafiq said that the idea that young children in Yorkshire would be "denied the high-level cricket that could inspire them" was "the last thing I want" and that instead of helping to solve the problems in the English game, the club's suspension from hosting internationals "could end up adding to them".
"It has been a whirlwind since I appeared in front of MPs almost two months ago, and what Yorkshire and Lord Patel have done to bring change is definitely a step in the right direction," Rafiq wrote in the Daily Mail. "That is why I believe the time is right to say they should be given back the international cricket so vital to their very survival. The people of Yorkshire should be able to watch England in Test and white-ball games at Headingley this summer.
"It just seems outside the county everyone wants to throw the book at Yorkshire and my concern is some want to do that in order to make themselves look better or deflect attention away from their issues. I don't agree with that because it will not drive change."
The ECB stripped Yorkshire of their right to host international fixtures and major matches in early November until they have "clearly demonstrated that it can meet the standards expected of an international venue, ECB member and first-class county" after describing their handling of Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism as "wholly unacceptable".
There has since been a mass overhaul of personnel at the club, with 16 staff losing their jobs and Darren Gough hired as director of cricket. The search for a permanent head coach is ongoing, and the club has received more than 80 applicants covering the various vacancies on their coaching staff.
Headingley is due to stage two men's internationals next summer, England's Test against New Zealand from June 23 and their ODI against South Africa on July 24. The fixtures are still listed on Yorkshire's website, though tickets are unavailable at the moment.
"I am not saying everything is now hunky-dory at my old county and we can all move on," Rafiq wrote. "Yorkshire must be kept under review to make sure this really is the start of something important and meaningful. Everything is not fine yet, not by a long way.
"At first in all this I believed international cricket should be taken away from them. But they have done enough to warrant getting it back, for now at least. I want to see England playing at Headingley this summer. I may even pop down to watch myself."
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee is due to publish its own report into racism in cricket on Friday, following the conclusion of a series of parliamentary hearings last year, with the ECB's own investigation yet to be completed.
Lord Patel has called an emergency general meeting in February in order to vote on changes to the club's rules, and has opened applications for six new non-executive directors. He has also proposed that two representatives of the Yorkshire membership sit of the board of director.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire are expected to keep their place in Division One of the County Championship, though they could face a points penalty for the 2022 season. County fixtures are due to be published in the next two weeks.