CCL Statement on Category 3 players for the 2019 Cricket Season February 2019
Now the time for planning for the new season is here, it is appropriate to update clubs on the state of play regarding overseas players and the position of the CCL. This important statement is applicable to all clubs in the CCL. Please note that although the UK is scheduled to leave the EEA on the 29th March, EU nationals will still be allowed to come to the UK until Dec 2020 for up to 3 months and will continue to be Category 1as long as they are normally resident in that country whose passport they hold.
The first thing to clarify is the Category system that Cricket Administrators use to define registered players:
The league is duty bound to hold declarations on the forms OS1, OS2 and OS3 made by all players who are deemed Category 3 and the clubs for whom they wish to play. This information will be shared by ECB and the Home Office.
Following discussions between ECB and Home Office, there are amended guidelines to clubs which were distributed before Christmas. These rules regarding what defines an amateur player mean there is a now a four-year period that a player can qualify as an amateur if they have not been registered for a professional or semi-professional club (essentially first class) nor received any payment for playing or coaching for at least four years. There is also a two-year period since last played for a national side from U17. For the purposes of CCL League registration that will be for the four or two years prior to the date of entry to the United Kingdom. The onus for checking falls squarely on the club.
Using an agent is now dependent of the interpretation of the word: “Opportunities”. The league will assume opportunities to mean simply the chance to play cricket in another part of the world. The ECB advice is that an agent should not have been used for the last 12 months, therefore the League will not register an amateur player who has been asked by a club or member of a club to come over to play for the playing season 2019 via an agent.
The playing season for players who have played for clubs in other countries extends to that league’s official start date or the CCL Official Start date of January 1st of the current season, whichever comes first.
NO visitor on a Standard Visa (all other overseas players) can work anywhere (even unpaid, so even sitting on the roller may be seen to be unwise), or coach/work with youngsters. He or she will have to demonstrate that they can support themselves for the intended duration of their stay. Travel &accommodation expenses and the use of an agent to facilitate any arrangement will now explicitly targeted as an example of payment in kind.
Those players on a Youth Mobility visa are assumed to be working. The club may not help in any way these players with expenses. This is seen as payment in kind and a breach of the terms of the visa.
Remember, as well, there is NO entitlement for visitors to the UK to free health care and any travel insurance should include a clause to cover injury sustained while playing an organised sport. This is up to clubs to check!!
No overseas amateur player may receive any money for playing or coaching. Any written agreement between the player and the club has no substance in law in the event of a dispute, other than normal membership of the club as applicable to all members according to the terms of that club and the rules of the CCL regarding registration (and transfer).
Category 3 (Exempt)
Please note the reminder that all players who are Category 3 as defined above must be registered with the league and that a club is permitted to register only one such player.
The league, at its discretion, may allow Category 3 players to be classed as Category 3 Exempt. This only applies to players who have been continuously resident in the UK for a minimum period, currently,according to CCL Rules, before January 1st of the year in question, and who must be legally employed (the main income must not come from cricket) for that period and during their time with the club.When registering such a player on Play-Cricket then you will have to use the Category 3 classification from the dropdown menu. Any change of status during the season must be reported to the league with the standard note that Home Office penalties for substantiated transgression are harsh. Youth Mobility Visa holders are not Exempt. Currently, our rules do not place a limit on the number of Category 3 (Exempt) players, although ECB advises a maximum of three Category 3 players per team which may include the one overseas per club allowed in our rules. Full documentary evidence of employment, residence and identity must be provided before the Overseas Registration Secretary can decide. All clubs at any level without exception must comply with this requirement. The ‘professional’ litmus test still applies. A further earnings declaration will also be required by filling in a further form before clearance is given.
Players who have been accorded Category 3 (Exempt) must be re-registered each year to ensure continuity and legitimacy of their status.
All club dealings with overseas players whether Tier 5 professional, visiting players who pitch up or the chaps working down the road are the responsibility of the club. The club must establish where there may be doubt if the potential player (if new to the club) is a Category 3. If the league establishes from any source or by any means that a player who is Category3 has not been registered as such, there will be an immediate deduction of 5 points for each game in which that player has taken part.
Last year’s forms are no longer valid and any submitted will not be accepted and will have to be redone.
Up to date forms for the season 2019, useful links and flow charts to assist in decision making are available on the Cornwall Cricket Website under the Adult – Cornwall League section.
The CCL uses CricInfo for its fact-finding.
Apart from situations where local rules apply, all information in this statement may be found on ECB and Home Office websites. We are not authorised to provide immigration advice. Also, bear in mind that the HO takes each case on a contextual basis. What seems to be good for one cricketer may not work for another because of slightly differing circumstances. We cannot and will not get involved in any dispute between a club and the Home Office. We must provide the Home Office with any information they request that they may use in their investigation, however.