In response to recent changes in Home Office policy which affects all clubs seeking to utilize an overseas based player at your cricket club, we felt it worthwhile to provide some help and guidance on what you should do when trying to organize an overseas based player to come and register with your club.
The League is not responsible or liable if problems occur within the clubs in this matter, the responsibility lies with the clubs themselves and the Home Office will deal with the clubs directly. The ECB currently support this position also.
However, we want to help our member clubs avoid problems if at all possible, and member clubs should take some simple steps to help if they wish to:
1.Look very carefully at the accompanying Home Office Immigration Rules for Cricket Overview and be aware of its implications
2.Do some basic research on the player via internet searches on the playing history, newspaper reports, agent connections etc.
3.When applying for League Registration for an overseas based player you must also send an email to The Registrations Secretary Aidan Berry via email@example.com The email should include answers to these questions to be answered by the club and player such as:
a.Has the player been paid for playing cricket at any stage of his career YES / NO
b.If yes please provide details
c.Type of VISA or method of entry to the UK
d.The latter question is critical as clubs and leagues should know just what is or isn’t allowed under that visa and enables further research to be undertaken if necessary. If YMS, SVV or NVN are detailed then that player must be an amateur and must not be paid in any way by the club. (Note – NVN terms are the same as for SVV and you should check with the Home Office for their meaning)
4.We will also require separate emails from both the club and the player to be sent to Aidan Berry with the following statement
"We hereby certify that we have verified and are completely satisfied that all relevant external regulations have been complied with by both the player and the club, and we confirm that he/she is legally entitled to be in the UK and able to be registered to play cricket on an amateur basis for our club."
•If clubs are in any doubt as to player eligibility, then they should seek guidance from the Home Office prior to undertaking any such arrangements. Should they experience any issues when contacting the Home Office then the club should let the ECB know.
•Clubs found to be in breach of the visa regulations could be subject to the highest level of sanctions available for breaching Home Office Rules.
Below is some general guidance to help you comply with the the above information
There are restrictions on players from outside the EEA entering the UK using the Standard Visitor Visa, the Youth Mobility Visa or as a Non-Visa National. In particular, these visas only allow a player to join an amateur team or club to gain experience in a particular sport if they are an “Amateur”.
The three mentioned visas cannot be used by someone deemed to be a ‘professional sportsperson’.
In addition to the ‘player pathway’ criteria adopted by the Home Office in 2017, the definition of which is: A player may be considered to be on a “Pathway” and therefore classified as a “Professional Sportsperson”, if that person has played cricket above U17 at state/ province/ territory level (paid or unpaid) in any country.
The Home Office have now, in addition to the player pathway criteria, confirmed that
a) the payment of a player’s airfare or accommodation and/or
b) the use of an agent to promote the availability of players is likely to increase the prospect of the Home Office considering the player to be a “professional” and, as a consequence, the risk of that player being deemed ineligible to participate in accredited ECB Leagues.
The term “Amateur” is defined by the Rules as:
“a person who engages in a sport or creative activity solely for personal enjoyment and who is not seeking to derive a living from the activity. This also includes a person playing or coaching in a charity game”.
The term “Professional Sportsperson” is defined by the Rules as someone, whether paid or unpaid, who:
“is providing services as a sportsperson, playing or coaching in any capacity, at a professional or semi-professional level of sport; or being a person who currently derives, who has in the past derived or seeks in the future to derive, a living from playing or coaching, is providing services as a sports person or coach at any level of sport, unless they are doing so as an “Amateur”.”
The Home Office has advised the ECB that it would consider that the following are likely to be included in the definition of “professional sportsperson”:
* players who have played for professional or semi-professional clubs at junior levels, which may include under 19s teams, whether they were paid or not;
* coaches of junior teams of professional or semi-professional clubs, whether they were paid or not;
* former professional sportspeople who have formally reverted to amateur status according to the rules of their sport; and
* players who have played representative sport for their state, country, or territory, whether they were paid or not.