Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) marked a landmark moment last week, as it hosted its first ever Diwali celebration event in Leeds.
To celebrate the Festival of Lights, YCCC welcomed almost 200 guests – including Club and Foundation Staff, members, grassroots and community club players, religious leaders from multiple faiths, representatives from the UK Armed Forces, emergency services and NHS frontline workers, civic representatives and the Consul General of India officials, to dine together at Headingley Stadium.
Guests were invited to observe the multi faith Lighting of Diwali Diyas, with participants including: Bishop Chris Edmondson, Chaplain to YCCC; Dr. John Slater, representative of Harrogate Synagogue; Squadron Leader Amir Khan, Muslim Representative of the Royal Air Force; Mr Gurdev Singh MBE, Sikh Chaplain; Mr Haridas Shukla, Hindu Chaplain; Mr Roy Poulter, Buddhist Chaplain; Dr Shashank Vikram, Consul General of India; and West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin.
Club legends Sir Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird also joined the celebrations, helping to cut the traditional Diwali Celebration Cake, before a dance performance from the Punjabi Roots Academy.
Kavita Singh, YCCC board member and organiser of the Diwali dinner, added: “We’re delighted to host so many from across communities within Yorkshire to celebrate our first Diwali celebration dinner and thank all our guests for making this an incredible evening.
“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. To have had people from such a wide range of backgrounds coming together to celebrate really demonstrates the power of this Club and the wider sport to unify and reflect the rich and diverse cultures in Yorkshire.
“We are committed to continuing the celebration of all events that are of significance to our communities. We can’t wait for many more celebrations of this kind in the months and years to come.”
West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin, said: “It’s fantastic to celebrate Diwali together with a truly diverse group of individuals and I want to congratulate Kavita and the team at YCCC for hosting an amazing evening. It’s incredibly important for leaders from different backgrounds across the region to stay connected – celebrations like tonight can continue to support this for many years to come.”