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Thread: Kolpak!

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    Kolpak!

    England and Wales Cricket Board



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cricket fears flood of cheap South Africans

    Neil Manthorp in Cape Town and Lawrence Booth
    Friday December 10, 2004
    The Guardian

    The England and Wales Cricket Board is to meet the players' union today to discuss the potential crisis posed by the influx of foreigner players into the domestic game, as it emerged that a list of 80 available cricketers from overseas is being circulated among the counties for the next English season.
    Of those, 20 and possibly more are South African first-class cricketers attracted by the high salaries that are paid in England, though of that group 17 are white players, several of whom are believed to be disillusioned by the quota system that ensures at least four black players are represented in each of the republic's six franchised teams.

    Any influx of players would present a threat to the ECB's recent initiative to curb the number of foreigners entering the game by providing incentives to counties to promote their own youth systems.

    A player agency called Athletes 1 has circulated the 80-strong list of different nationalities who are keen to play in England under the Kolpak judgment that allows people from nations with whom the European Union has a trading agreement to work in Britain. They would not count as overseas players in England, allowing counties to field two others per team.

    "It's a major issue," said Richard Bevan, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association. "I am aware of significant numbers of players who want to play county cricket as Kolpaks, and we are meeting with the ECB today to put forward some proposals. It is a problem in the game that is massive."

    The list being put around by the agency includes dozens of internationals, including Test players such as Vasbert Drakes, Cameron Cuffy, Nixon McLean and Marlon Black from West Indies and the Zimbabweans Brian Murphy and Trevor Gripper.

    But it is the high-profile South Africans that have attracted most interest, particularly the seven with Test experience. One, the Gauteng batsman and former captain HD Ackerman, has broken the code of silence that surrounds the South Africans, who are afraid of losing their jobs at home if their interest in moving abroad is revealed, and admitted that negotiations are taking place with Leicestershire.

    "It's very hard not to be tempted by the salaries available in county cricket," the 31-year-old said yesterday, "but it's not just about the money. In South Africa there is a tendency to start thinking of players as over the hill when they reach 28 but that age is normally the start of their best years.

    "The hard reality is that a county salary is probably well over twice the value of a provincial salary and in South Africa that amount is paid over 12 months, not six like in England."

    Gerald de Kock, spokesman for the United Cricket Board in South Africa, said: "We are aware of the situation and obviously we would prefer our player base to stay as strong as possible."

    Last season some 96 non-England-qualified cricketers - 59 bona fide overseas players, 34 EU-qualified and three Kolpaks - represented the 18 first-class counties. But as of next season the ECB will put a cash-incentive system in place to encourage counties to avoid the overseas route.

    A sum believed to be 50,000 will be withheld from each team, and redistributed depending on how well they fulfil criteria governing the production of English players.

    It is thought the amount withheld will double in 2006 and double again in 2007, by which time it will form a considerable chunk of the 1.3m each county receives from the ECB every year.

    "The incentivisation scheme is the right way forward," said Mark Newton, chief executive of Worcestershire, who registered Ray Price, a Zimbabwe rebel, as a Kolpak player.

    "Some counties might be tempted by the short-term fix but I would be very surprised if counties jumped on to the Kolpak bandwagon in a major way. We certainly won't be going down that route."

  2. #2
    You'll Never Walk Alone Nate's Avatar
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    wow, its a copied article...
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    International Captain Buddhmaster's Avatar
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    And what a copied article!

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    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    If they're better than the weaker English players then I say bring them in - it will only make the County game stronger, which in turn increases the ability of those who succeed in it.
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    International Coach wpdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc71178
    If they're better than the weaker English players then I say bring them in - it will only make the County game stronger, which in turn increases the ability of those who succeed in it.
    Well, they're probably more experienced, so a lot of counties are going to be tempted to buy in a finished article rather than take time to develop one of their own. Surely, by definition they're basically second rate though, so standards aren't going to rise that much and there's less chance for young English players to come through, which is the big worry.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc71178
    If they're better than the weaker English players then I say bring them in - it will only make the County game stronger, which in turn increases the ability of those who succeed in it.
    And by taking out much more money than an English player they drain the already thin finances further...
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpdavid
    Well, they're probably more experienced, so a lot of counties are going to be tempted to buy in a finished article rather than take time to develop one of their own. Surely, by definition they're basically second rate though, so standards aren't going to rise that much and there's less chance for young English players to come through, which is the big worry.
    I'm not so sure about that - if someone's good enough to play for England, they'll come through.
    However, the odd supposedly "second-rate" (AKA "not quite international standard") overseas player doesn't do any harm IMO, quite the opposite in fact.
    But once you start getting that many of them, the costs escalate dramatically and soon spiral out of control.

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    Cricket Web Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    I'm fairly sure the men in charge of the county purse-strings will balance their financial books for the most part. Obviously there's a talent/cost trade-off, etc, etc.
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    International Coach wpdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    I'm not so sure about that - if someone's good enough to play for England, they'll come through.
    However, the odd supposedly "second-rate" (AKA "not quite international standard") overseas player doesn't do any harm IMO, quite the opposite in fact.
    But once you start getting that many of them, the costs escalate dramatically and soon spiral out of control.
    The odd overseas player doesn't bother me - it's the sheer weight of numbers we began to see last season that I'm unhappy about. Theortically the genuinely good players should still come through, but if, say, the quick bowling slots are taken up by a combination of a good experienced English player, an overseas pro and a Kolpak guy, it's not going to happen, and you can see youngsters leaving the game. And yes, you're dead right about the money which could be better used else where.

    And how good are these players anyway? Some pull their weight, but I thought there was a lot of wasted money last season, judging by the performances of a lot of the imports.

  10. #10
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    There most certainly is a hell of a lot of wasted money.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup
    I'm fairly sure the men in charge of the county purse-strings will balance their financial books for the most part.
    And you see, I'm really not sure about that either.
    You just have to read some of the stories about companies going bankrupt to realise that short-termism is one of the biggest dangers of today's business World.

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    A few eu/kolpak players sacked from last year harritty,mohumad ali,blignaut to name a few,and peter bowler retired.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Peter Bowler is 100% pure-blood English!
    Not, of course, that being not so is a sin, but he never had loyalty to anything other than English cricket.
    And a mighty fine player he was, too...

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    But raised in australia in canberra in fact.

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Ye-e-e-e-e-s-s-s. So?
    He was never qualified to play for anyone other than England.

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    One thing that perhaps someone can tell me, is are Kolpak players (subject to qualifying period) technically available for England? Or would counties be obliged to release them if they were selected for a tour that was concurrent with the county season?

    I'd quite fancy Ray Price turning his arm over for England when Ash retires!
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