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Overseas Players 2018

11th January 2018 Posted in League by Michael Weeks

CCL Statement on Category 3 players for the 2018 Cricket Season January 2018

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 LMC. This important statement is applicable to all clubs in the CCL.

The first thing to clarify is the Category system that Cricket Administrators use to define registered players:

  • Category 3 applies essentially to all potential players who are not qualified to play for England or who are not UK Passport /Ancestry Visa /Permanent Right to Remain holders. In short – overseas.
  • Category 2 is used for players contracted to first class counties. De facto the CCL use it for defining the one professional player allowed per club.
  • Category 1 is the standard used for all other 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.

Category 3:

Whether or not a Category 3 player can play in an ECB League (and the CCL is) is simply down to ‘professional’.  If the player is considered ‘professional’, according to Home Office and therefore ECB Guidelines, then he (or she) is not permitted to play as an amateur.

The CCL takes as a baseline, therefore, that anyone who at any time anywhere has played in a first-class fixture (and short form or white ball equivalents) cannot be registered to play in Cornwall. As we found out last year, however, there are any number of grey zones: e.g. Player Pathways, development leagues and the wish to play professionally at any time. Where there is doubt we will seek guidance from ECB and where advised accept or decline the registration.

If a club wishes to engage the Home Office, as is their prerogative, in clearing the player to play and please bear in mind that it is now clear that payments to agents and expenses paid for airfare and accommodation will be taken into consideration and may increase the likelihood of the player being determined a professional, the league may allow such players to be registered with the provisos as laid out in our rules while that process is ongoing.

There is a help line for clubs wishing to speak to the Home Office, but beware it is a premium rate number.

We do noT recommend that clubs acquire the services of an amateur player to come over to the UK simply to play cricket (with or without the use of an agent), as in our view it is now asking for trouble. Excepting some Australian and NZ youngsters who may be able to use Youth Mobility visas to visit the UK, 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 work with youngsters. He or she will have to demonstrate that they can support themselves for the intended duration of their stay. Remember, as well, there is NO entitlement for non-EU visitors to the UK to free health care and any travel insurance should include a clause to cover injury sustained while playing organised sport. This is up to clubs to check!!

No overseas amateur player may receive any money for playing or coaching.  And any written agreement between the player and the club is a complete waste of time as there is no substance in law in the event of dispute.

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 decision governing exemption is at the discretion of the League. 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 also 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 reregistered 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 2018, useful links and flow charts to assist in decision making are available on the Cornwall Cricket Website under the Adult – Cornwall League – Overseas Players 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.