A lot is being heard about the Kolpak deal nowadays in the cricketing world. Although the deal is named after Maros Kolpak, a Slovak handball player, yet it is quite a noted term in cricket since a lot of cricketers, particularly from South Africa, have migrated to England under this deal to play there.
The Kolpak ruling was handed by the European Court of Justice in May 2003 whereby citizens of nations that have signed European Union Association Agreements possess the same right to freedom of work and movement within the European Union (EU) as like their own citizens.
‘Kolpak cricketers could be gone by 2021’
However, the much-discussed Brexit whereby Great Britain eyes an exit from the EU could put an end to the arrangement. In fact, Kolpak cricketers could be gone from English county in another two years if a no-deal Brexit comes into play, as per updated guidance from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The news certainly doesn’t sound good for the Proteas cricketers who are earning a living by playing in England now after having given up the desire to represent their own country in international cricket. “Kolpak signings, as well as those with EU passports, are eligible to feature without counting as an overseas player, employment rulings which would both be directly affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union,” a Guardian report said.
Eighteen first-class counties have been told by the English board over email about the political uncertainty surrounding the project but offered some clarity on the possible outcomes. If Britain exits the EU on October 31 sans an agreement, an idea that has been frequently floated by the new prime minister, Boris Johnson, then Kolpak registrations would be impossible and the existing deals are less likely to exist after the 2020 season.
The county sides have many Kolpak signees at the moment, including former South Africa internationals like Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Simon Harmer, Kyle Abbott and Duanne Oliver. Brexit has been one of the hottest debates in British politics for some years now and two prime ministers have perished while making the project a reality in the last three years.
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