PCA PRESS RELEASE
Professional Cricketers' Association members air concerns at early season meetings
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The players in England and Wales appreciate the opportunities created by the new tournament and broadcast agreements from 2020 but are concerned about the domestic playing structure and the future of the game.
After completing the round of visiting all 18 First Class Counties earlier this month, the Professional Cricketers’ Association has consolidated players’ views and will now take these up with the ECB.
The annual early season presentations to members gained more significance in 2018 with the structure of domestic cricket the major concern for the membership.
Attended by 85% of the professional players in England and Wales over the past two months, the presentations updated players on the progress of their association and created an open forum to air any views or concerns which directly affect players.
The major concern of the players is around the lack of information and clarity regarding the new tournament. The future of domestic cricket as a whole was a lead topic with a fear the 50-over competition is being devalued with no clear pathway to One Day International cricket while there is apprehension on how the County Championship will fit into the structure. Restrictions on being released to play overseas is also an area the PCA will seek clarification on.
“There are a lot of questions which remain unanswered and this is becoming a concern to the membership."
DARYL MITCHELL, PCA CHAIRMAN
While members are very positive about the new broadcast deal with cricket returning to free-to-air television and the influx of extra money coming into the game, players are concerned about the uncertainty on signing county contracts beyond 2019 and want assurances a fair proportion of the money will be spent on player salaries throughout the professional game.
The engaging sessions were concluded before the proposed 100-ball format was announced by the ECB and therefore this could not be discussed with the wider playing membership.
Further to the news of the proposed concept to be introduced in 2020, the PCA can confirm a meeting between its Chairman Daryl Mitchell, their Reps and the ECB will take place on 8 May.
PCA Chairman, Mitchell, is in regular contact with the PCA Reps and has organised a meeting with the ECB to specifically discuss the new 100-ball format. The Worcestershire batsman says the PCA is in a very solid position after gaining wide-spread views.
“Over the past two months we have had face-to-face discussions with over 85% of the current playing membership and listened to issues that are directly affecting players,” said Mitchell.
“We have had extremely open conversations and listened to every viewpoint across the counties. These have all been recorded and we will be feeding these concerns into discussions and negotiations with the ECB over the coming months.
“There are a lot of questions which remain unanswered and this is becoming a concern to the membership. Along with Non-Executive Chairman Matthew Wheeler, I will be heavily involved in making sure these concerns are eased as we aim to secure the future of professional cricketers in England and Wales.”
"To gauge their opinion is essential, not only for them as players, but for us so we can go and represent their voice.”
IAN THOMAS, PCA DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & WELFARE
The engaging sessions took place throughout March and April, starting at Gloucestershire and ending at the Kia Oval, home of Surrey with similar points being raised throughout the counties.
PCA’s Player Contracts Advisor Rich Hudson travelled around the country providing information on the service offered to all PCA members and discussing the positive results achieved for players since his appointment in June 2017.
An update to the Illicit Drugs Programme was also on the agenda as well as other key topics such as the role of the ECB’s Cricket Liaison Officers, players’ online security and the PCA Benevolent Fund.
PCA’s Director of Development and Welfare, Ian Thomas, led the sessions and thanked the players for their opinions at an important time in representing the best interests of members.
“It’s very important that the PCA gets the players to stop in such a busy time when they’re training and have busy schedules with pre-season fixtures.
“For us to have an hour or two with the players to run them through the various changes and gauge their opinion is essential, not only for them as players, but for us so we can go and represent their voice.”