The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) welcomed two new member players’ associations at its Annual Meetings held at Lord’s and the Oval in London between 25 – 27 September. The meetings covered a wide range of issues that globally impact cricketers, both male and female, and the game around the world. The meeting was attended by FICA President, Vikram Solanki, its Board and various guests.
New Players’ Associations
Irish captain and President of the Irish Cricketers’ Association (ICA) William Porterfield, and Preston Mommsen, former Scottish captain presented to the meeting, providing great insight into the challenges of associate and new full member country players. FICA looks forward to supporting its two newest member associations and to representing their players at an international level.
International Cricket Structure and Player Employment Market
The Board held lengthy discussions on the current structures of international cricket, the role of domestic T20 leagues in affecting player employment decisions within that structure and received a presentation from the Australian Cricketers Association on their recent MOU negotiations. Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive, also provided insight into global cricket issues from a Board and ICC perspective.
Player safety and security was discussed at length, including a presentation by Reg Dickason, FICA’s security consultant, specifically in relation to the recent World XI tour to Lahore, Pakistan. Whilst FICA was encouraged by the successful delivery of the security provisions in Lahore, the Board remains clear that every future tour to any country considered by independent security advice to be high risk needs to be separately assessed using a consistent assessment of that risk, of security plans and of implementation of those plans. Specifically this process should be applied to the proposed Sri Lankan and West Indies tours of Pakistan and firm commitments should be in place to ensure the same level of security provision seen during the World XI tour is afforded to any touring teams.
FICA will continue to advocate for consistency of process and minimum standards for players in dealing with security around the world.
Former England international and PCA Board member Isa Guha joined FICA independent Board member, Lisa Sthalekar to discuss with the FICA board the direction of the women’s game, both international and domestic, and the positive impact of the recent ICC Women’s World Cup.
FICA will continue to collate global player views to guide its positions in the women’s game and the Board resolved to conduct a detailed research program into a number of issues raised that are specific to future success of the women’s game.
Player Welfare, Development & Education
The annual meetings included the FICA Global Player Welfare and Development Conference bringing together the respective heads of player welfare, development and education from FICA’s member associations. In addition to existing programs the conference and Board resolved to address the changing welfare and career development needs of both male and female players in the changing cricket employment market, including the increasing number of players who are moving around the world to play in the various domestic T20 leagues.
Commenting on the outcomes of the meeting, Tony Irish, FICA Executive Chairman, said:
“Our annual meetings are an opportunity for us to develop FICA’s approach on common issues affecting players, male and female, at the international level and across a number of countries. They are also a forum in which players’ associations share and discuss international best practice on programs and benefits which we provide to players in our member countries.”
“2017 is a year of accelerating change in the game as we continue to witness the growth of T20 cricket, and we see significant movement of financial resources in the direction of the T20 leagues. As the global players body we are looking closely at how this affects the player labour market and the decisions that are being made by players about what cricket they are choosing to play, now and in the future”
“It’s becoming clear to us that cricket will need to be very deliberate if it is to ensure a healthy balance between traditional international cricket and the new T20 leagues. Both are important for the future of the game”