A FORMER Worcestershire school teacher has been confirmed as the new president of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

Dr Jane Powell, previously head of PE at The Chase in Malvern, is looking to improve the club’s image after being named the first woman to fill the position.

She was voted in as Yorkshire president at the end of March, replacing Geoff Cope.

“I’m thrilled to have been given this role,” said Dr Powell.

“I want to do my best to help the club because it’s one of the greatest clubs in the world despite what’s happened. We need to get that back into everybody’s minds.

“It’s a big role and one that I’m not underestimating. I just hope to do it to the best of my ability."

The club has been hit by former player's Azeem Rafiq’s racism allegations. 

The club pleaded guilty to four charges of bringing the game into disrepute, including a failure to address systemic use of racist and/or discriminatory language, but may not discover their punishment until the end of May.

The Cricket Discipline Commission hearing into the English Cricket Board's disciplinary proceedings against seven former Yorkshire players and the club took place earlier this month.

She added: “Because I’m the first female president at Yorkshire, I didn’t actually consider it because I didn’t think it was possible. There’s that saying, ‘If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.

“There’s so many good people here and so many wonderful things happening, and it’s being masked because of the poor press we’ve been getting.

“We’ve got to learn from what’s gone before and move forwards with confidence that we’re doing the right things to make the club a more inclusive place to be.”

Malvern Gazette: Dr Powell taught at The Chase High School for 20 yearsDr Powell taught at The Chase High School for 20 years (Image: Yorkshire CCC)

Dr Powell was born in Sheffield and was in the same class at school as Lord Esbastian Coe.

She then worked at The Chase High School for 20 years, between 1985 and 2005.

Dr Powell is a former Yorkshire and England women’s cricket captain, coaching the latter for eight years after leaving The Chase.

She also played hockey for England, was a junior representative badminton player and has worked in lacrosse.

Alongside her new role with Yorkshire, Dr Powell is the ECB’s Disability Performance manager and last week was awarded MCC honorary life membership.

In November 2013, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of science) from the University of Worcester for outstanding contribution to British Sport

She is hoping her wide-ranging experience will come of use as president.

“I have experiences as a player, as a coach and administrator, and I also feel that my people skills will be very important. I’d like to think I’m quite personable,” she said.

“My England debut was 1984 officially, but I was with the squad from 1979 and was always out there fielding. I bet I hold the record for most 12th man appearances.

“I worked full-time as a teacher at the same time. I was having to do my training before school and pay for tours and my own blazer and things like that.”

Headingly will host an Ashes clash in July, but Dr Powell has other priorities.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to that Test immensely.

“But I’m most looking forward to going out and letting the Disability players know the club has a president who knows what they’re doing.

"I’m looking forward to going to a number of Diamonds games and showing all the different areas of the club that we really do care about them and that they’re important.”