The Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) celebrated its second annual Eid Milan event at Headingley Stadium yesterday evening (Tuesday 16th May), bringing communities together for a final celebration to mark the end of Ramadan 2023.
More than 350 guests; including a number of community groups, dignitaries, members of Yorkshire’s professional squad, the Northern Diamonds, and the staff of the Yorkshire Cricket Organisation, attended the event, which was hosted by BBC Test Match Special commentator and stand-up comic, Aatif Nawaz.
The evening’s programme featured musical performances from singer Hussnain Lahori, and as well as an insightful panel discussion between Darren Gough, Managing Director of Yorkshire Cricket, new captain of the Men’s team, Shan Masood, and the Northern Diamonds’ Lauren Winfield-Hill.
Winfield-Hill said: “I think it’s really important to bring the Club and the community together and to celebrate big events like this.
“It’s really important we show face and we support these celebrations – we do our stuff on field but it’s really important to do things like this off the field as well.”
Masood added: “I’m very excited to finally be here, I was really looking forward to being here at the start of the season, unfortunately that didn’t happen but I’ve come at a good time and what a time to come to such a prestigious event and brilliant celebration for Eid Milan.”
The charity organisation Islamic Relief UK also provided an update on the ongoing work being done to support those affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan, which has been aided by £120,000 raised in partnership with YCCC at a fundraising event held at Headingley last October.
Board Member Yaseen Mohammed and Stephen Vaughan, YCCC’s Chief Executive Officer, reflected about the significance of the Eid Milan event for the Club and community.
Vaughan, said: “We’re delighted to host so many from across communities within Yorkshire to celebrate our second Eid Milan celebration event and 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 Eid Milan and the end of Ramadan 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 has had the opportunity to attend events including celebrating Diwali, Eid, and Christmas over the past year – it’s great to get among and celebrate the diverse community that we represent.”
Yaseen Mohammed, who also holds a role as Chair of the Board of Park Avenue Bradford, said: “It has been a really special evening, bringing many different communities together here.
“Eid which brings an end to the month of Ramadan is celebrated by millions across the cricketing world, including thousands of families in Yorkshire, who are an important and integral part of the Yorkshire Cricket Family.
“Tonight has been a great example of bringing everyone together and celebrating culture – both in terms of similarities and differences.
“We are committed to continuing the celebration of all events that are of significance to our communities.”
The evening was supported by the UK-based Regal Food Group and the Adams Food Service – the UK’s largest specialist Cash and Carry, and was just one of the initiatives Yorkshire Cricket showcased to highlight and support Ramadan 2023.
Last month the Club hosted a second annual special Iftar meal, which brought together members of Yorkshire’s professional squad, the Northern Diamonds, staff, and Muslim colleagues who were observing Ramadan.
Recognising that many participating in the game across the county would be marking Eid-ul-Fitr last month, the Yorkshire Cricket Board – which oversees the recreational game and supports more than 850 grassroots clubs and schools playing the game every week in the summer, equating to more than 125,000 recreational players – encouraged all league clubs to be mindful of those marking the occasion to offer greater flexibility in terms of re-arrangement of fixtures. This made Yorkshire the first county to allow games to be rescheduled without points deductions in the instance of postponements when Clubs were unable to field a team during Eid.
The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation – the charity arm of the Club – also ran a number of events through its Core Cities program including the Yorkshire Ramadan Cup at Wakefield Football Centre. Run in partnership with the ‘Check-in With Your Mate’ campaign, the event provided the opportunity for people in the community to pray, play cricket, and eat together.