Tuesday, 13 March 2007

There should be a way... for Wales to be allowed opportunities such as this

Neges ebost gan Mike Fatkin, Prif-Weithredwr Criced Morgannwg - 13/03/07

Email response by Mike Fatkin, Chief Executive Glamorgan Cricket - 13/03/07

This question comes up every four years and there isn't a straightforward answer. We could opt out of the England and Wales Cricket Board set-up - we have that right - but we would lose getting on for £2M which is given to the county club and the county board to develop the game here. I have no knowledge of what monies are available from ICC.

Scotland and Ireland struggle financially. Yes, they have the carrot of World Cup cricket every four years - if they qualify, which they haven't always - but for the remaining times I know it's very difficult for them to get any kind of profile, to develop the sport and to play competitive matches. We know that it's a desperate struggle for them financially.

Scottish and Irish players can qualify for England. Ed Joyce is the most recent Irish example, with players like Dougie Brown and Gavin Hamilton Scots who have played for England. Joyce is now ineligible for Ireland; Hamilton is no longer a regular in county cricket and has waived his right to play for England in order to play for Scotland. The example of Joyce is most apposite. Having now played for England, he would forfeit his right to represent them again if he played for Ireland. He chose not to.

Wales played in the 1975 world cup. We have also played matches against England - indeed beat them in 2002. Ideally we would exploit this more but we have to face the fact that should we do so - and we will always have the right to - we will sacrifice financial support, all year round profile in Wales, the probability of losing players to English first class counties, the costs of establishing and maintaining our own professional structure of cricket, and the loss of any rights to stage major international cricket.

You say 'many many cricket supporters' find the present situation unacceptable. That is not our finding. The overwhelming majority of people we speak to would love to see Wales in a World Cup but fully recognize that for two weeks of high profile we would be putting the whole development of the game here at risk. They see Glamorgan as Wales's representatives at the professional level and take huge pride in seeing Welsh cricketers playing for England. Anomalous, I agree, but that's what we are told.

Speaking personally, I still maintain there should be a way to continue doing what we are doing and for Wales to be allowed opportunities such as this. It is something we continue to work for. At the moment, though, we would have to choose between one and the other.


Mike Fatkin


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