Yorkshire chair Kamlesh Patel claimed on Thursday reform at the troubled English county is being derailed by a group concerned that the club will be “sacrificed on the altar of Black Lives Matter”.

Patel took charge at Yorkshire in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal that rocked English cricket last year.

Pakistan-born Rafiq accused Yorkshire of failing to deal adequately with racist abuse he suffered while playing for the county, saying he had been driven to thoughts of suicide.

Yorkshire apologised to the 30-year-old in September but subsequently said they would take no disciplinary action against any of their staff.

The club’s handling of its own investigation into Rafiq’s case was widely criticised, with the England and Wales Cricket Board suspending Yorkshire’s right to host international matches and sponsors, including Nike, walking away.

But Patel’s attempt to clean up the mess is being delayed after an extraordinary general meeting scheduled for Wednesday was cancelled.

The meeting was due to include a vote on significant changes to the board structure.

It was postponed when Yorkshire discovered it had not been properly called, leaving Patel frustrated at the county’s former chair Robin Smith amongst others.

“It is plain that, when I joined the club in November, it had a wealth of legacy problems inherited from previous leadership, of which former chairman Robin Smith was a part,” Patel said in a statement on Thursday.

“I made a conscious decision that we would focus on a positive future for Yorkshire and remediate the inherited issues. For me and others at the club, this was part of a positive programme for change as there is no benefit to Yorkshire CCC in arguing about the past. That is a block to reform.

“There is emerging, however, a clear agenda to undermine the club, driven by opposition to our progress and a desire to maintain an outdated status quo. It is disheartening and pernicious in equal manner.

“We have become aware of a small group of individuals who have indicated a belief that, by looking to make progress and change for the better, ‘the lamb that is Yorkshire Cricket Club is to be sacrificed on the altar of Black Lives Matter’. This is unacceptable in every possible way.

“This group is actively seeking to delay and derail the essential reforms and consequently the return of international cricket by litigating process issues, without presenting any positive alternative.”