Demystifying the Cricket Kolpak Rule: An Easy Explanation

International Cricket rules can often be a real time problem for some cricket players. Some cricket players cannot make it to the international team or receive very low payment as per standard. For such players, the Kopak cricket deals are more than just amazing.

Kolpak cricket deals allow provision for the cricket players of other countries to play as a member of any other European Union country. The Cricket Kolpak deal was established by the European court of Justice as a deal to safeguard the movement freedom of the workers who form a part of the European Union. There are several questions, dilemmas and innumerable queries regarding the Cricket Kolpak rule, especially queries regarding the need of such a rule.

This rule is named after the famous Slovakian handball goalkeeper whose name was Maros Kolpak. Born in 1971 in Presov, he played for  the country 71 times. During his play for almost 10 seasons for the club HT Traten Presov and then SG Kronau, he faced several challenges. The problems faced were mostly centered around the several Deutscher Non European Union quota rules. Some of these stringent rules prohibited him from playing in Germany.

Such injustice and partiality developed in him a sense of agony that forced him to move to the Justice Court. The court considered the allegations quite properly and framed several rules; that would help the players regain their position for players.

Cricket Kolpak Scenario – Explained

During the initial days of handball; the German Handball Association framed several rules that prevented the member clubs from fielding over 2 players from the Non-EU Teams. In 2000, the club under which Kolpak was concurrently playing decided to fill up the quota of their club’s members with non EU players. Though Kolpak had a German work permit at that time; he was not allowed to play and even ejected from the Slovakia club as it was not a part of the European Union during those days.

Such incandescent behavior agitated Kolpak and he moved to the court. After several sessions, the court of Justice decided that; The citizens of the countries that are in an agreement with the European Union cannot be treated any differently to the actual residents of the European Union. That directly means, the lawful workers of the EU who have valid work permits in the EU will not face any restrictions under the quota norms. It was only after the justice court passed this judgment; that Kolpak was permitted to play several other handball seasons with the German Club.

Once the Kolpak arrangement was passed under the jurisdiction; several countries signed the Kolpak deal such as the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (OACPS). These countries can deal and play just  like the members of the EU.

It is important to understand how the Kolpak Deal will impact Cricket. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) follows a structure of county cricket. And as per these laws, the foreign players were not allowed to join these clubs. The Kolpak deal helped several countries and their talented players to play as equals in the leagues and games of the European Union.

Rules for the Cricket Kolpak Deal

However, the Kolpak deal is not quite free. There are several rules and regulations when it comes to following the Kolpak rules. Let us have a look at the primary and most stringent rules of the Kolpak deal:

  • The player should have at least four year’s work permit in the United Kingdom. The other alternative is that they should have earned a certain specific number of caps while playing International cricket matches in their countries.
  • The player can in no way represent his own country during the time of his play for the county club.
  • When the player signs the Kolpak deal, the county cricket club should be their priority. However, they can play domestic cricket during the English offseason.
  • The players who are above 18 years, must play for 7 years of county cricket and only then they will receive a secure citizenship for qualifying as a member of the England Cricket Team Selection.

Apart from these primary rules; there are several secondary rules with the Kolpak deal that mostly talks about the payments; and the club finances for the clubs that accept the Kolpak players. Another important thing to be remembered is that, as per the norms of Brexit; once Britain refuses to be a part of the European Union, the laws of Cricket Kolpak mayno longer hold effect.

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