THIS week’s press conference by Lord Patel, the newly appointed chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, potentially marks the beginning of the end of the recent trial and tribulations at the club.

Within 72 hours of his appointment, Kamlesh Patel managed to reach a settlement of the employment tribunal case brought by former player Azeem Rafiq, making explicitly clear that racism is not banter with reference to his own experience. By charting a way forward for the club, he can also lay a foundation for the return of international cricket to Headingley and begin to recoup some of the £3.5m of sponsorship that has been lost over the past week.

That is not to say the cricket club is out of the woods or that the story has run its course. There is more to come with the appearance of Rafiq and others before the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee next week while Patel’s declaration of an independent review may uncover other examples of what Rafiq has described as the “institutional racism” which he says bedevils the club.

Already Irfan Amjad, a 28-year-old former Yorkshire academy player, has told the BBC he had been racially abused as a 16-year-old by a member of club staff.

A hotline is due being set up for players or employees, past or present, to share similar experiences. There is also the issue of the continued employment of Mark Arthur, the chief executive, and Martyn Moxon, the director of cricket, both of whom have faced calls to resign for their part in the whole affair.

It may seem strange to suggest but with all of these potential challenges facing Yorkshire there may be no better opportunity for the club to reinvent itself as the country’s leading cricket club where those of all races and backgrounds can flourish. If the old political dictum of never allowing a good crisis go to waste is applied rightly at Yorkshire then Patel’s appointment as a new broom could herald a raft of changes – not least a fundamental culture change – at the club. It needs to be rooted in the recognition that this is an opportunity not just to right the wrongs of the past but to lead the way for other clubs and counties in the kind of inclusion which welcomes the cricketing talents of all of Yorkshire and beyond.

Patel comes with impressive credentials both as a cricketing loyalist – he previously served as the England and Wales Cricket Board deputy chair – and perhaps more importantly as a proud Yorkshireman.

Yet it is his vision for the club which impresses most. He said: “I’m determined to make this club the beating heart of English cricket again. After 158 years we’re ready to change… We’re ready to accept the past and we’re ready to become a club which people can trust to do the right thing.”

Patel’s vision can outshine its current difficulties. The opportunity for the club’s supporters, members, directors and staff is to give Patel their full support in a once in a generation chance to remake the cricket club as a uniting and driving force for all its people.

The Reverend Arun Arora is the vicar of St Nicholas' Church in Durham City