Beyond Kolpak: European Union Law's unforeseen contribution to the movement of African cricketers
Rossouw, Johannes Petrus
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The movement of professional cricketers from South Africa to England to play in County Cricket has expanded since the late 1960s. It became more attractive during the period of South African isolation and some players saw English cricket as a route to play at Test match level through changing national allegiance. This paper explores the role of law in facilitating movement in two ways. First, in the case of Greig, the attempt to ban players who chose to participate in the new commercial venture, World Series Cricket, was overturned. Second, in the Kolpak case a decision of the European Court of Justice paved the way for South Africans and Zimbabweans to abandon their national side and play in England as domestic players without the usual constraints applied to overseas players. The opportunity was taken by numerous players because of the political upheaval in cricket that was contemporaneously taking place in both South Africa and Zimbabwe. The movement of players caused concern in both South Africa and England and led to a re-consideration of the financial relationships between governing bodies and players.
- Faculty of Education