Cricket Scotland reject Greenock CC appeal to replace Overseas Amateur

Following the return home to South Africa by Overseas Amateur Craig Schlebusch for personal reasons several weeks ago, Greenock Cricket Club contacted Cricket Scotland for permission to seek a replacement. Craig had played in only one Scottish Cup sectional match and played in no CSL Premier Division West matches at all. The request was turned down by the Competitions Management Group citing Rule 10 (c) which states that,

“only one successful application for registration of an ‘overseas amateur’ will be accepted per season”

Greenock CC submitted an appeal to Cricket Scotland requesting that the case be viewed as an exceptional circumstance and outlined various reasons why the issue should be reviewed and a fair and good sense decision be taken.

Following an Appeal Hearing, held at Stirling County Cricket Club on Thursday 7 June, Cricket Scotland issued the following statement to Greenock Cricket Club:

The panel have unanimously agreed to uphold the decision of the Cricket Management Group (CMG) to refuse Greenock the opportunity to recruit another Overseas Amateur and subsequently agree the intention of Rule 10 C has been correctly applied.

The panel were sympathetic to (the) appeal as (Greenock) have been let down by the player concerned but the CMG acted entirely appropriately.

The Panel also recommends that the CMG  consider the wording of the rule in question and bring it into line with Rule 10 B 3 which allows for the replacement of Paid Players in an exceptional circumstance.

Greenock Cricket Club committee met for their monthly meeting on Monday 11 June and noted the outcome of the appeal with disappointment. However, the committee also noted that the appeal will hopefully achieve a positive outcome for all Cricket Scotland member clubs for the future, as the Appeals Committee has made a recommendation that the rule for Overseas Amateurs should be brought into line with the rule for paid professional players.....Rule 10 (b) (iii) which states,

“Where the original ‘paid player’ is unable to play for whatever reason, including but not exclusively injury, national call-up or termination of contract - the registration of a substitute ‘paid player’ will be approved by the Committee.....”

Greenock Cricket Club has accepted the Cricket Scotland ruling and will now have to continue to compete against other member clubs in the CSL Western Premier Division and Scottish Cup who have the advantage of playing with Overseas Amateurs in their sides.

The club's work with Active Schools, its various age group teams and weekly junior coaching evening, which regularly has fifty plus youngsters attending, will also now not have the Overseas Amateur’s skilled cricket input this season and will rely on the commitment of the team of adult volunteers and professional Mpho Sekhoto who had been looking forward to working with the Overseas Amateur.