The Yorkshire County Cricket Club Limited (YCCC) hosted its second Diwali celebration event at Headingley Stadium, on Friday 10th November, 2023.
To celebrate the Festival of Lights, YCCC welcomed more than 300 guests – including a number of community groups, dignitaries, members of Yorkshire’s professional squad, religious leaders from multiple faiths, and staff from across the Yorkshire Cricket Family.
Yorkshire legends Dickie Bird and Chris Old also joined the celebrations, alongside representative from the Indian High Commission, members from the emergency services and Armed Forces as well as leaders from a number of sport and charity organisations including Kick It Out and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The special evening saw guests invited to observe the multi faith Lighting of Diwali Diyas – led by Gurdev Dahele MBE, a Sikh Chaplain alongside other faith leaders.
Highlights also included an insightful Club panel discussion led by Harry Chathli, the Club Chair, alongside Club President Dr Jane Powell, Darren Gough, Managing Director of Cricket for Yorkshire, and Bird and Old.
A traditional Diwali celebration cake cutting ceremony and entertaining Bhangra Dance performance also took place.
Stephen Vaughan, Chief Executive of YCCC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome so many people from across communities within Yorkshire to celebrate our second Diwali celebration event. This event was for everyone to enjoy and celebrate community togetherness and light out of darkness.
“Thank all our guests for making this an incredible evening. To have had people from such a wide range of backgrounds coming together to celebrate Diwali and the Festival of Light really demonstrates the power of this Club and the wider sport to unify and reflect the rich and diverse cultures in Yorkshire.
“The Yorkshire Cricket Family is pleased to be able to connect people from different backgrounds across the region. The Yorkshire Cricket Family has had the opportunity to attend annual events including celebrating Eid, and Christmas – it’s great to connect and celebrate the diverse community that we represent.”
Kavita Singh, YCCC Board Member and organiser of the Diwali dinner, added: “Diwali is celebrated by millions across the cricketing world, including hundreds of families in Yorkshire, who are an important and integral part of the Yorkshire Cricket Family.
“Tonight has been a special evening, bringing together people across communities and across sport.
“Diversity, inclusion and belonging is key to the Yorkshire Cricket Family and it is important that our employees are able to bring their whole authentic selves to work and have the opportunity to celebrate their special occasions with colleagues across the Club and community.
“We are committed to continuing the celebration of all events that are of significance to our communities. We look forward to many other celebrations of this nature.”
On the evening there was also a silent charity auction and raffle to raise funds for the dedicated community work led by the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation – the official community arm of YCCC.
There was a fantastic range of prizes to bid on including a once in a lifetime opportunity for a Club photo with the Yorkshire side, unique hospitality experiences at Yorkshire for international and domestic fixtures, a special signed Yorkshire shirt, and many more.
Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) Chair, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, said: “Our mission is very simple. We use the power and brand of Yorkshire Cricket to support people and communities to be the best they can be.
“As a Foundation we are committed to ensuring that Yorkshire keeps playing its part in ensuring that cricket becomes the most inclusive game in sport. We would like Yorkshire Cricket to be a home for everyone.
“We are so grateful for the incredibly generous support that has been shown by businesses, organisations, communities and individuals. The money raised will help to fund the continuing great work that YCF does in the heart of our communities.”
If you would like to donate towards the vital work the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation does. Go to: https://www.justgiving.com/yorkshirecricketfoundation