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ECB Board welcomes Morgan Review and progress regarding anti-corruption

Wednesday 23rd November 2011

At its Board meeting held at Lord’s on 23rd November, the ECB received an interim report from David Morgan concerning the domestic game.

The Board congratulated David Morgan on the extensive consultation which has taken place with in excess of 300 individuals including players, supporters, media, coaches, county chairmen, county chief executives and ECB officials.

The interim report proposes that further work be completed to define proposals in four key areas:

* To consider a domestic season from 2014 comprising 14 LV= County Championship, 10 Clydesdale Bank 50 over and 14 Friends Life t20 matches, with the 50 over and t20 competitions to include knockout stages from Quarter Final onwards.

* To utilise the reduction in cricket to facilitate appointment to view for t20 cricket on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, and to commence LV=CC matches on Fridays in the early season, on Sundays in mid-season, and Mondays at the end of the season.

* To consider an enhanced role for the department responsible for the domestic professional game within ECB to mirror the successful Team England and Cricket Partnerships departments.

* That a reduction in Team Salary Payments and strengthening of Performance Related Fee Payments be considered.

The Board endorsed these principles and determined that full recommendations should now be developed for the Board to consider at its January meeting.

ECB Chief Executive David Collier commented: “The Board was highly impressed with the diligent consultation and findings presented by David Morgan. It is clear from David Morgan’s initial work that in order to compliment the Team England goal of mirroring success in the Test and Twenty20 formats at the forthcoming Cricket World Cups, the format of ODI cricket must be introduced within domestic cricket from 2014. To support and strengthen the domestic County game, 14 FL t20 matches should be played, and to provide preparation time for high quality four day cricket, the LV= County Championship should be reduced to 14 matches.

The Board unanimously endorsed the Morgan Review comments to create an appointment to view with consistent start dates in the LV=CC and FL t20 competitions. The Board also welcomed the findings of the work commenced by Gordon Hollins since his appointment as Managing Director of Events and County Business by strengthening the department responsible for the professional domestic game.”

David Morgan commented: “There are divergent opinions concerning the optimum structure to strengthen the domestic game. There was however a consistency of views expressed that the success of the Team England and Cricket Partnerships departments within ECB should be complimented with the strengthening of the department responsible for the domestic professional game. The volume of domestic cricket has made it impossible to schedule consistent start dates and I believe that spectators, players and administrators alike would welcome the certainty which a predictable programme would provide.

"I am convinced that there are no substantive commercial benefits evident from a 40 over format in comparison with the 50 over format which is the standard for international one day cricket. I have therefore concluded that the Board should adopt the 50 over format from 2014. I am pleased that the Board recognised the value of the extensive consultation which has been central to this review and appreciate the kind comments expressed by the Board on my initial presentation.”

Following his appointment earlier in November, Chris Watts reported to the Board on the work being undertaken by the Anti-Corruption, Education and Security (ACCESS) Unit. Chris joined ECB from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and he will work in close co-operation with the ICC ACSU unit.

Commenting on the ACCESS unit report, ECB Chief Executive David Collier said: “Earlier this year, ECB strengthened its anti-corruption training, education and monitoring unit. The ECB was the first Board to develop and introduce a code and regulations to control activities which threaten the integrity of our sport.

"It is clear from the cases which occurred in both international and domestic cricket last year that there is a significant issue which requires increased focus. I am delighted that Chris Watts has joined ECB from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary following 30 years of experience in the police force at a high level. A key focus, in partnership with the PCA, will be to increase education and training as well as providing confidential reporting services for any suspicious activity.

"ECB has a very good working relationship with regulated bookmakers to assist in identifying unusual betting patterns. The role of the ACCESS group is to receive reports, usually twice per annum, from Chris Watts as the executive responsible for proactive education programmes, current investigations and reports of incidents which require expert investigation. The ECB Board reiterated its policy of zero tolerance to corruption in sport, welcomed the focus of the UK government, ICC and the EU on this issue, and provided its support for the work being led by Chris Watts.”