|Sanctioning of Events & Player Release
In light of recent developments cricket is in need of a regulatory framework which recognises all elements of the global game and which will be effective now and in the future. In establishing this framework, FICA believes that the following should be recognised:
- International cricket and Domestic T20 are both good for the game and are integral parts of the game’s future.
- Domestic T20 is growing the game globally with fans and providing opportunity for players. International cricket needs to be strong and attract the best players. Establishing an appropriate balance between the two is critical for the future.
- Cricket’s focus should be less on restricting players from playing where they are valued and more on positive measures to ensure an attractive system including in relation to scheduling, economic models and the creation of world class environments.
- The movement of players is a fundamental aspect of growing and developing the game globally in both existing and new markets.
FICA is concerned that the narrowly defined objectives for a regulatory framework published by the ICC will not set the game up appropriately for the direction in which it is moving. If regulation is not effective it will not have the desired outcome, so this is as important for the future of international cricket as it is for the entire game. FICA has proposed broader and additional objectives based on a global vision. FICA believes that objectives must also include reference to the players’ fundamental employment rights, including players being able to play where they are valued.
FICA is further concerned at reports following the ICC meetings that blanket regulation is to be introduced to restrict players to playing in three T20 leagues and believes that any arbitrary restriction is likely to constitute a restraint of trade in most countries. Any regulations should be designed to minimise the likelihood of successful legal challenge.
“FICA believes that a fit-for-purpose global regulatory framework is necessary,” said FICA Executive Chairman, Tony Irish. “We will however continue to oppose blanket or arbitrary restrictive measures imposed on players without agreement. We urge the ICC to resolve imbalances and tensions caused by the structure of the game, scheduling and game economics through positive measures which will also allow the game to grow globally. FICA wants to be part of this endeavour.”
Code of Conduct
FICA supports holistic measures to protect the spirit and integrity of the game.
The ICC has predominantly focused on increasing its ability to punitively punish players, to the exclusion of more holistic or industry wide measures that FICA believes would be most effective. FICA is concerned that some of the ICC’s measures also reduce players’ access to a fair hearing which becomes even more important when punishments are significantly increased.
In developing the game’s response to the issue of player behaviour, FICA encourages the ICC to also consider mechanisms to ensure that cricket officials are also held to the same standard of behaviour as the players.
Elements of the more holistic measures which FICA has proposed include:
- Conducting a thorough collaborative review and simplification process to bring the Code of Conduct to life
- Adopting one set of laws, rules or charter for all players and officials
- Sanctions which focus on rehabilitation and education, not just punishment
- Greater clarity, education and training regarding the Code and Spirit of Cricket for players and officials, including targeted campaigns, as have been successfully used in other sports
- Mechanisms to ensure greater consistency in the application of the Spirit of Cricket and Code of Conduct
- Consideration of how the game deals with the principle of “double jeopardy” where an issue has already been dealt with under a global code
“FICA will continue to urge the ICC to look to these wider measures to effectively deal with conduct across the entire game,” said Irish.