Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association
PCA representatives consult and publish statement on behalf of playing squads.
The PCA Players’ Committee has released the following statement upon the publication of the ECB’s High Performance Review of Men’s Cricket findings:
The PCA and the players welcome the findings from the ECB’s High Performance Review of Men’s Cricket and wish to acknowledge its thanks to the review for its consultation with the PCA and the player representatives.
The PCA and majority of professional players agree that the current schedule is unsustainable and requires reform.
The PCA and the players support the vision to make England the best team in the world across all formats. For this to happen, players need to be allowed space to grow and develop with appropriate rest and recovery to maximise performance and protect player welfare.
It is important as a group of current players our voices are heard to provide a greater appreciation of the demands the current schedule has on player health and wellbeing. Players are encouraged to see the greater emphasis that is being placed on player welfare and this needs to underpin any future decisions on structure and schedule.
A significant majority of current players have supported six key fundamentals required for the game to move forward from:
- Retaining an 18-county first-class system
- Overall reduction in amount of cricket played
- Greater emphasis on the County Championship during the height of summer and it not to be played alongside The Hundred
- Maintaining an elite T20 competition for all counties
- Reinstating a premier 50-over competition where the best white-ball players can compete
- Growth of The Hundred
It is also clear high performing environments do not solely rely upon the domestic schedule and therefore see aspirations to reintroduce an England Under 17s pathway and an increased Lions programme as progressive steps forward.
The PCA Players’ Committee has begun to debate the merits of the findings of the review and more detail is needed. As a group we will continue to work as a collective to achieve a positive outcome for the players and the game with the aim to futureproof the next generation of domestic and international cricketers in England and Wales.
Players are alert to the changing global landscape of cricket and feel all stakeholders have to act as a matter of urgency in the best interests of the game and for the betterment of the future.