Press Release

PCA Concerned Over Change In Legislation For Overseas Cricketers – 06/04/2004

PCA Concerned Over Change In Legislation For Overseas Cricketers – 06/04/2004 The PCA is concerned about recent legislation that dictates the status of overseas players legally entitled to play in this country. The Kolpak Ruling and a relaxation of the Working Holiday Visa for Commonwealth Countries are set to have an impact on the game as a whole. • Kolpak is a landmark ruling, passed in May 2003 by the European Court of Justice, which extends working rights across the European Union to various African, Caribbean and Pacific countries that have Association Agreements with the EU. • This means that cricketers from these countries (significantly South Africa and the Caribbean) can no longer be regarded as ” overseas players” once they are legally working in England (ie with a proper Work Permit or a Working Holiday Visa). • The rules for getting a Working Holiday Visa have been relaxed. There is now no restriction on the type of work a person from the Commonwealth can take up in the UK, provided they are aged 18-30 years old. These visa’s last for two years. • Australia and New Zealand cricketers do not benefit from Kolpak. They need a work permit or Working Holiday Visa and are still regarded as overseas players. It just means that County Clubs do not have to apply for work permits if the player is eligible for a Working Holiday Visa. • There is now very little to stop an influx of South African and West Indian cricketers playing professional cricket in the UK with the same rights as England qualified players if the Counties choose to employ them. Richard Bevan, Group Chief Executive of the PCA said, ” There are serious concerns regarding the Government’s amending of the working holiday visa last August, without full consultation of professional sporting bodies. Government must spend more time understanding the problems that face sport in the UK. ” The success of the England team, determines, to a very large extent, the success of the game. There is a balance to be struck between a competitive structure and developing home grown talent. ” The ECB will now need to be more proactive managing that ” balance” , for example, incentives fee structure to counties for the development of English qualified players.” For More Information Please Contact Richard Bevan – Group Chief Executive, PCA 07860 474767