The England and Wales Cricket Board has today (July 31) expressed its disappointment and frustration to the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACU&S) following General Council’s decision to defer approving a ballot of members on the proposed creation of a new Association of Cricket Officials.
The new Association was the main recommendation of a Working Party jointly set up by ACU&S and ECB and was regarded as a move which would benefit cricket. However, General Council has decided to defer any decision on a ballot until the next meeting of General Council which is not scheduled until Saturday October 27, 2007.
The ECB believe that the recommendations of the Working Party are the best way to establish a single organisation to represent the interests of all officials, working closely with the ECB County Boards, Regions and the European Cricket Council (ECC), and with close links to the MCC.
The new Association would also have benefited from the introduction of a new and comprehensive structure of qualifications for umpires and scorers which meet the National Standards set by Sports Officials UK (SOUK) and conform to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) National Framework. These new qualifications will now be introduced by the ECB Officials Association.
In developing the proposed time scale the Working Group was acutely aware of the need to conduct the ballot before the start of the ACU&S financial year on November 1 so that members would be able to decide whether or not to join the new organisation before renewing their subscriptions.
The ECB Officials Association subscription year runs from January 1 each year so more time is available for consultation with ECB OA members.
ECB OA has confirmed that the subscription rates for 2008 will be the same as for 2007 and are set at the same level as the Working Group proposed for the new Association.
The new structure of qualifications meeting the QCA National Standards is being developed by an Education Taskforce, led by Chris Kelly, the ECB Umpires and Match Operations Manager. The Taskforce, which includes representatives of ACU&S and ECB OA, will continue its work as a matter of high priority. It is anticipated that the first of the new courses will be accredited and the initial training of tutors and assessors will be completed no later than the end of 2007.
ECB are happy to provide further detailed explanations of the proposals to any interested party and will be happy to support ACU&S Regional Councillors and ECB OA County Associations in explaining the proposals to their members.
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