The consequences of Brexit in English cricket is certain. Even if there would be no massive effects on the International Team, County cricket in England will certainly undergo a makeover. The inferences can be made from the fact that a number of players within the domestic cricket circuit are from other European Nations. The impact will be on cricketers who have been playing domestic cricket matches in England.
According to the present rules of England, the team has reserved position for a single overseas player in ODI and two on T20s. These players require Sportsman Visa to play in England. This would lead to an exit of many players from the team who were nationals of other nations. However, the final verdict on the issue is uncertain and the government is still to deal with every aspect of the Brexit After effect. The cricket board of the nation, including England and Wales Cricket Board will be crucial decision makers in this regard.
So far, as England was with the EU, many players from nations like Netherlands were playing as English nationals. Now with Brexit on effect, these players will be considered as overseas players and is now exempted from The European Communities Act of 1972. The Act allowed workers from member states of the EU to live and work in the UK without any restriction. In this list of cricketers, some of the best names in County Cricket like Roelof van der Merwe and Timm van der Gugten will be in peril. Van der Merwe has been playing for Somerset and van der Guften is with Glamorgan.
Along with England parting away from the European Union, another impact will be on the Kolpak Ruling. As the rule is only subjected to nations within the EU, the break-up would lead to an exemption of Kolpak Cricketers in England. Kolpak players are those who has been in England since the ruling of 2003 under the European Court that Players from any country of the Union could represent other countries of the Union with no restriction.
It was a repercussion of the Kolpak Ruling that the court even allowed cricketers from nations like South Africa and Zimbabwe to play in England as long as they do not join their national teams. This was an option for many players to earn good money in England compared to their own nations. There were earlier issues with the rule as many argued that it was harming skills of domestic players in England. Now the decision would rest on ECB whether it would continue with the Kolpak Ruling or scrap it.
The reason for ECB to go on with the Ruling is that every County Cricket team has at least one crucial Kolpak player. Players like Brendan Taylor, Tino Best, Ravi Rampaul, Sean Ervine, Richard Levi, Keaton Jennings and Colin Ingram has been the top most players in county cricket. It would be certainly a great loss for English Cricket to do away with them.
It is expected at the political issues does not touch an upright game such as Cricket. The ECB along with English Government should come up with an ingenious solution. Cricket and Cricketers have never been in the games of power. Furthermore, nationality of cricketers seems to shun with the rise of tournaments like BBL and IPL. Sports has been always about the zeal to win rather than the zeal to compete. It is that factor that could work towards the wild One World dream rather than secluding within our boxes.
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