Tuesday 8 May 2007 

Harvey Denied Status As Non-Overseas Player

The ECB have ruled that Ian Harvey is not allowed to play for Derbyshire as an England-qualified player.

Harvey, who has scored two centuries in the LV County Championship this season whilst playing as an overseas players will not have his registration as an English-qualified player until receiving confirmation of his citizenship from the Home Office.

Derbyshire are of the view that the ECB's position is contrary to recent precedent and possibly illegeal. However, they do not intend to challenge the ruling. Chief executive Tom Sears said:

"We are extremely disappointed with the ECB's stance on this issue.

"Ian has played in this country since 1999, his wife is a British citizen, he has met all the criteria to qualify for British citizenship and completed the required fours years of residency.

"He submitted his application for citizenship at the earliest opportunity but the ECB is still not allowing him to play even though they have in a previous case.

"The Home Office have said that Ian is entitled to live and work in this country but the ECB are saying he can only play as one of our two overseas players until he gets his citizenship.

"The ECB have told us they have taken legal advice on this issue which says they have a right to impose this restriction on Ian. Both Ian and the club have also taken advice which is contrary to this view.

"We do not want to take legal action on this matter because it won't do anyone any good, by the time the case is heard Ian will have received his papers.

"What we would like the ECB to do is conduct a thorough review of the player registration regulations to ensure they, and subsequently the counties, are operating within current employment legislation because we are not convinced they are and there are many within the game who hold a similar view.''

The full ECB statement read as follows:

"The ECB Board met on May 4 to consider an appeal lodged by Derbyshire CCC to exercise its discretion to register Ian Harvey as a qualified cricketer with immediate effect for the 2007 season.

"The grounds for Derbyshire’s appeal were that Ian Harvey was in the process of applying for British Citizenship and has been granted indefinite right to remain in the UK, hence Derbyshire requested that Ian Harvey be treated as a qualified cricketer with immediate effect.

"The ECB regulations require that citizenship be obtained prior to approval for registration as a qualified cricketer. Ian Harvey’s citizenship application papers were initially lodged on April 11 and final papers were submitted on May 3.

"Derbyshire contended that in 2004 ECB had utilised its discretion in the case of Ottis Gibson. It was clarified that in the case of Ottis Gibson the Board had only exercised its discretion due to the fact that notification had been received from the Home Office that unprecedented delays were being experienced in the processing of citizenship applications and Mr Gibson had submitted his application nearly 12 months previously.

"The Board, in rejecting the appeal, determined that there were no exceptional time delays for processing in the case of Ian Harvey’s application and noted that Derbyshire commented that they believe Ian Harvey’s citizenship could be confirmed within a month.

"The Board therefore rejected the appeal and re-emphasised that until his citizenship is confirmed Ian Harvey remains as an unqualified cricketer and that Derbyshire remain free to select any two of their unqualified cricketers in matches during the 2007 season subject to with ECB regulations."