• Welcome to the Cricket Web forums, one of the biggest forums in the world dedicated to cricket.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join the Cricket Web community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

Kolpak!

brockley

International Captain
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."
 

marc71178

Eyes not spreadsheets
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.
 

wpdavid

International Coach
marc71178 said:
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.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
marc71178 said:
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...
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
wpdavid said:
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.
 

Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator
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.
 

wpdavid

International Coach
Richard said:
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.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
There most certainly is a hell of a lot of wasted money.
Neil Pickup said:
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.
 

brockley

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

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
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...
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
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! :)
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
As far as I can see, they'd be like anyone else - as long as they serve ICC's residence qualification period, nothing that has happened previously matters in the slightest.
Basil D'Oliveira didn't have a drop of English blood in him - neither, as far as I'm aware, did Robin Smith, Allan Lamb et al, yet they became blood-brothers of anyone else who had the interests of English cricket at heart when they declared their intentions to play for England.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
What actually is the rule on representing countries?

I know players have to undergo the 4-year qualification period, regardless of holding British passports or not.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
If you've lived solely in one country (ie any visa you have held in another country is a holiday visa only) for 4 years, you're qualified to play for them.
Simple as that AFAIK.
 

Langeveldt

Soutie
If these guys cannot play for England they are of little use in the county system.. Id rather watch an average English guy striving for the top than a SA/Zimbo who is just in it for the money.. And Hylton Ackermann makes no bones about that fact
 

Top