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Players & Eligibility

GMCL rules are intended to be comprehensive and should be read in their numbered order and only refrenced with the full paragraph.

The Board recognises that there will be times where a combination of events give rise to circumstances where the rules might be viewed by some as open to interpretation.  On any such occasion application should be made to the league on for a ruling.


Where an issue of interpretation arises in-play then the umpires standing shall be deemed the arbiters on the day and the matter referred to the league for a formal decision post match. The umpires decision on the day is final as regards that game in play but not binding until confirmed by The Board after the game upon application. The Board ruling will apply to all similar combination of events from that point forward, the retrospective position will also be considered at that point..

Please note that umpires do not rule on Player Eligibility - any concerns should be raised with the league before match day. The use of ineligible players will be punished post match.


2.    Player Eligibility
2.1.    All Players
2.1.1.    Registration    All players must, irrespective of age, be registered as a bone fide, fully paid up member of any club that they represent, or    A registered professional or “overseas” player of the club, or    be on temporary loan to that club through agreed procedures. 
2.1.2.    Multiple Registrations    No player can play open age cricket for more than one club in open age competition in any season unless    there has been an agreed transfer between clubs during the season and all debts at the previous club are settled or    there is an agreed temporary loan in place.
2.1.3.    Multiple Teams    No individual currently playing for any other club in any other Saturday League shall be considered eligible for any Saturday or Sunday team in GMCL at any time.

2.2.    Player Registration
2.2.1.    Registration with League    At the start of each season, every club shall input/update a club list of registered players on to CricHQ, no later than one week before the first league fixture.    The details registered must include Full name and Date of Birth    Failure to do so will result in a fine of £10.00 in each case. 
2.2.2.    Late Registration    Players not registered may not play until confirmation is received by The Board that they are eligible to play and are not registered elsewhere.        Any player who plays before the registration is approved will incur a £50 fine per game to be paid by the club.
2.2.3.    CricHQ list of players    It is the Team Captain’s responsibility to ensure that the team’s squad list is up to date prior to the day of a game. This can be managed by a club admin or your club scorer or other club official who has been given cricHQ admin rights for your club or team but the ultimate responsibility of the Team Captain.    No Scorer (Home or Away) should be tasked to add players to squad lists shortly before or during a game.        The team captain will be held responsible for failure to complete the cricHQ team before the game.

2.3.    Player Transfers & New Player Registrations
2.3.1.    Players concerned - this procedure applies to    Transfers between GMCL clubs and        Transfers in from clubs outside GMCL        Players joining their first UK cricket club        Players coming to the UK from Overseas        Professionals and Amateurs        All players over 12 years of age on the 1st September prior to the season
2.3.2.    Registration of Transfers & New Players    GMCL operates a paperless transfer system which requires players to register the details of the transfer they are requesting on the Form set down online by the league.        Incorrect entries or misleading/false statements will result in a fine of £100 per player
2.3.3.    Officials involved in the Transfer    The player must enter the name and contact details for their contact official at the new club and their contact official at the old club
2.3.4.    Initiating the Transfer    It is the player’s responsibility to request that their contact at the old club e-mails the league (E-mail Subject Header should be “New Player Transfer: add player Name”) to state that    there are no objections to the transfer from that club and    there are no outstanding liabilities at the club the player is leaving and    provide details of any bans or there are no bans currently in place.
2.3.5.    Availability to Play    The player will only be available to play after GMCL e-mails the new club contact to confirm that the clearance from the previous club has been received.
2.3.6.    League Compliance        There is no time limit for the league to receive information regarding transfers in order to verify the statements given at registration
2.3.7.    Restrictions    No League club professional shall be engaged (or approached with a view to engagement) by another League club for the following season before 1st August without the consent of his present club. Penalty £100. Clubs aware of an illegal approach must e-mail marked CONFIDENTIAL.        No New Players can be registered or transferred after 31st July in the season.    Requests for exceptions due to player shortage must be e-mailed to marked “URGENT”

2.4.    Paid Players
2.4.1.    League Position on “Paid / Professional Players”    GMCL is an “open league” and players can be paid.
2.4.2.    Definition    A “Paid Player” / “Professional Player” is a player at the club who    receives or expects to receive a reward, monetary or otherwise, for playing for a team    from the club or from any business, sponsor or individual    at any time, before, during or after the season HOWEVER        The Home Office have determined that a “Professional” Sportsperson is someone, whether paid or unpaid, who: -    is providing services as a sportsperson, playing or coaching in any capacity, at a professional or semi-professional level of sport; or    a person who currently derives, who has in the past derived or seeks in the future to derive, a living from playing or coaching, is providing services as a sportsperson or coach at any level of sport, unless they are doing so as an “Amateur”   This is clear. Even if you do not pay a player they can be considered to be a professional from their past career or for what they wish to be in the future.
2.4.3.    Requirement of the League    There is no mandatory requirement for a club to have one or more paid players, clubs can remain wholly amateur.

2.4.4.    Paid Overseas Player    Clubs can only have one “Professional” “Overseas Player”    “Professional” is as described in “Definition” above    See later in these rules for the definition of “Overseas Player”
2.4.5.    Registration of Paid Players / Professional Players    Where a club has a paid (as defined above) overseas player, the club must register that player as their “named professional” (see Section - “Named Professional” below).    Where a club has no paid overseas player, but has one or more paid players as defined above a club must register a “named professional” (see Section - “Named Professional” below)
2.4.6.    Legal Requirements    Clubs are wholly responsible for accounting for tax and national insurance deductions and payments to HMRC in respect of all paid players.

2.5.    Named Professional
2.5.1.    Requirement    Where the club has one or more “paid players”, as defined at Section - “Paid Players” above,    The club must register the name of one player who will be known as the “Named Professional”    At least one week before the first game that player or any “paid” player wishes to play and no later than 31st May in the season.        The cricHQ entry for that player must have the term “(Pro)” after their Surname

2.5.2.    Overseas Paid Player    Where the club has a “paid player” / Professional who is not eligible to play for England, see the rules at Secton - “Overseas Player”, then they must be the “named professional”

2.5.3.    Procedure    Registration of the Named Professional is to be made on the GMCL form at Named Professional Registration  

2.5.4.    Reason for nomination    Only a named professional can be replaced by a Deputy upon request if certain criteria can be met, see Section - “Deputy Professional” below    No registered named professional shall be allowed to play for more than one club in any GMCL Competition during the season.

2.6.    Deputy Professional
2.6.1.    Qualification    Deputy Professionals are allowed in GMCL in certain circumstances to replace a registered “Named Professional” only.    A Deputy Professional is allowed when the “Named Professional” is injured or affected by illness.    The player must still be in the UK and available for examination as the Board see fit.    A Deputy Professional is also allowed when a player is called up for International Duty.    Any call up notice should be forwarded to the league with the application to take on a deputy.    A Deputy Professional may also be considered when the “Named Professional” becomes permanently unavailable and a club may submit a request for a deputy professional to the GMCL Board for circumstances not listed above or in the Restrictions below    A Deputy Professional will not be allowed where any unavailability is contracted, e.g. return home.

2.6.2.    Restrictions    These rules do not apply to Overseas Amateurs or any other paid players.    A deputy professional will not be allowed for (but not limited to): -    The named professional travelling away for personal or family events of any nature    Any contracted absence    A UK county contracted player called up to the county

2.6.3.    Replacements    Any replacement must be a professional player. Amateur players from other leagues cannot be used.    Any proposed replacement must have played no higher than the standard played by the player being replaced in the last 5 years    For example, a former county player cannot replace a player who only played at second XI county level.    and a current test player cannot replace a professional who last played Test Cricket over 5 years ago.    Exceptions will be considered only on written application with full details by e-mail to (cc to please).

2.6.4.    Application Process for Substitute Professionals    The reason for the request and the timing of any injury / illness must be submitted in detail with the application to take on a deputy.    Applications must be made to the league by e-mail to by 8pm on a Thursday before the Saturday or Sunday games (cc to please).    The E-mail should be headed: URGENT – Deputy Professional – XX CC and the following should be stated in the body of the e-mail:    Full name of the named professional who needs to be replaced    Full explanation surrounding the request, reason, injury details, when occured, length of expected layoff and medical opinion sought.    full name of the proposed replacement    Current Club    Highest standard played by this player in last 5 years    Current club has given permission (where applicable)    Status of player – England Qualified or not.

2.7.    Overseas Players
2.7.1    Terminology    “Passport” & “Visa” are the documents which allow a person to be in the UK legally and are partly but not wholly determining factors in a players status.    The term “Overseas” is used for ease of understanding but actually relates to any person not qualified to play for England    By definition “Overseas” may relate to UK Passport holders. A UK Passport does not mean the holder is eligible to play for England, there are place of birth and place of residence issues to consider.    The Term “Overseas Exempt” is an ECB term to describe persons who have not qualified for UK residence but have lived in the UK legally for 2 or more years. See below.

2.7.2.    GMCL quotas    GMCL allows up to two “overseas” players per team.    At First XI level this can be One Overseas Professional plus an Overseas Amateur player or an Overseas Exempt player or two Overseas Amateur players.        Overseas Amateurs or Professionals are only allowed in Saturday League 1st XI teams    At Second XI and below clubs may have up to two Overseas Exempt players.    Overseas professionals and Overseas Amateurs are not allowed in the Sunday competition for any team, including First XIs playing in that competition.

2.7.3.    Government & Governing Body Rules    Rules on players known as “Overseas Players” have changed significantly and these rules apply to, and should now be thought of as, relating to any player who does not qualify to play for England (see below).    Clubs should fully acquaint themselves with these new rules which are put in place by The Home Office and the ECB. LCB and GMCL will follow these rules.    As well as defining whether a player is overseas or not, the documents now clearly set out which Overseas players should be considered as “professionals” and therefore require the appropriate Visa. The Visa requirements differ for professional players and amateur players.

2.7.4.    The Home Office definition of “Professional”    The Home Office have determined that a “Professional” Sportsperson is someone, whether paid or unpaid, who: -    is providing services as a sportsperson, playing or coaching in any capacity, at a professional or semi-professional level of sport; or    a person who currently derives, who has in the past derived or seeks in the future to derive, a living from playing or coaching, is providing services as a sportsperson or coach at any level of sport, unless they are doing so as an “Amateur”. 
2.7.5.    The Home Office definition of “Amateur”    The Home Office has determined that an “Amateur” is a person who engages in a sport or creative activity solely for personal enjoyment and who is not seeking to derive a living from the activity. This also includes a person playing or coaching in a charity game.    Each Overseas Amateur should be registered here:
2.7.6.    Decision Making    The Home Office is the arbiter here and they should be contacted with any challenges.    ECB can answer questions but not rulings by e-mail to    GMCL can provide guidance based on the full facts submitted by e-mail to but cannot make any rulings. 
2.7.7.    The Big Changes    The significant change in Professional / Amateur Status is that a club need not be paying a player for that player to be considered a Professional    This makes a difference because Professionals require certain Visas if coming from Overseas and this should always be considered in your decision making.    one example of this is that where a player is playing in a professional or first class standard at home he can no longer come here and be considered an amateur.
2.7.8.    “Qualified to play for England”?    A player who is not qualified to play for England is considered an “Overseas” player.    The holder of a British Passport who was not born in the UK is only qualified to play for England if they have lived permanently in the UK for at least 7 full years (Summer and Winter) unless they came to the UK before their 18th birthday in which case they must have lived permanently in the UK for 4 years.    If the British Passport holder does not meet those criteria (e.g. an Australian resident who has had a British passport or has dual passport for 10 years) the player is an Overseas player.    Where a player has a British passport, and was born in England but has lived abroad and represented any other country at cricket then that player is an Overseas player.
2.7.9.    Overseas Exempt Players    There is a class of overseas player that have not been considered and these are persons living in the UK with only minor absences in the last 2 years..    In effect these are persons who are eligible to be in the UK via a qualifying and valid visa but whose primary reason for coming to the UK is not to play cricket and they have been living here for at least 6 months before the start of the season so for example this may include students or workers.    More detail can be found on the ECB website    A maximum of two of this class of player can play in each of the 2nd or Third XIs. For the 1st XI these players will count towards the maximum of two overseas players.    Overseas Exempt players must be registered here 
2.7.10.    A Reminder    That Overseas professionals or Overseas Amateurs who don’t qualify under 2.7.8 can only play in the 1st XI.    These Home Office rules are in place to ensure that clubs seek out only the best players from overseas to play at their clubs.

2.8.    Banned or Suspended Players
2.8.1.    No player shall play in any match under the auspices of this League who is currently suspended from playing cricket by either the ECB, LCB, GMCL or any other cricket league or equivalent body.

2.9.    League Game Restriction on Players at Second, Third and Fourth XIs
2.9.1.    Overview    There are rules around who can and cannot play at Second XI, Third XI and Fourth XI and these are listed below including the use of the ‘Starred Player’ system.     The ‘Starred Player” system is designed to provide a fair and even competition in GMCL at the grades below 1st XI and    These rules must be operated by all clubs with more than one open age team irrespective of how many of those teams play in GMCL. 
2.9.2.    Reasoning    The system is designed to: -    Prevent the best players at the club from playing at Second XI at any stage of the season in cup and league games,    Limit the availability of all First XI players and the best Second XI players from playing Third XI and Fourth XI cricket in cup and league games,    Allow those who play Second XI but do not bat and bowl regularly to play at Third XI and Fourth XI    Encourage clubs to register more players and play more juniors across the levels.
2.9.3.    Third XI and 4th XI    Only category 1 (England qualified) players are eligible to play for the Third XI and Fourth XI except for overseas exempt players referred to earlier and,    Each club with a Third XI (wherever their First & Second XI play) shall register the following as starred players and therefore make those players unavailable for the Third XI    All First XI regulars including all paid (whether recorded as a professional or not) and overseas players    The best Second XI players    to give a minimum total of 16 regular players    In addition, no un-starred player may play in a Third XI or Fourth XI match if three of their last five matches have been in the First XI.    No player who has played in six or more Second XI matches shall be eligible to play in the last three Third XI or Fourth XI league matches, unless he/she has played in the Third XI or Fourth XI on three or more occasions during the season prior to these games.    An exception to all these rules is that unpaid players under 18 years of age on 1st September of the previous season are eligible at any time for Third XI or Fourth XI games.
2.9.4.     Second XI    Only category 1, England qualified players are eligible to play for the Second XI except for exempt overseas players referred to earlier and    Each club with a Second XI (that does not play on the same day as their First XI) shall register the following as starred players and therefore make those players unavailable for the Second XI    a minimum of the best 5 First XI players including all paid (whether recorded as a professional or not) and overseas players    No player who has played in six or more First XI matches shall be eligible to play in the last three Second XI matches, unless he/she has played in the Second XI on three or more occasions during the season prior to the last three fixtures.
2.9.5.    Starred Players    All starred players must be acceptable to the GMCL Board and notified at registration at the beginning of each season. GMCL will supply the registration forms and procedure to supply the details to the League.    In addition, at 30th June each year, any un-starred player at that date who has played fifty percent or more games in the 1st XI will become a starred player and therefore not be allowed to play in the Third XI from that point.    The form for entry of your starred players list is listed on the website    Each club shall have the opportunity to review its list of starred players at any time to represent any other significant change from the start of the season, applications should be made to    Any changes must be acceptable to the GMCL Board before a player plays for the team.    In exceptional circumstances, clubs may seek the permission of the GMCL’s Board and agreement of the opposition for dispensation where deemed appropriate. The requesting club should e-mail the league and copy in the opponents Third XI contact with the request. This can include but it is not limited to: -    Game time to “find form”    Return to the game after injury    Fill-ins required for a temporary player shortage and those fill-in senior players not taking a leading role        The league will publish starred player lists.        Players can only be placed on the starred players list when they are available to play, for example a player who is available from July can only be on the list from July        Players can only be placed on the starred player list if they are available on Sundays and are available for selection on a regular basis for the club and play more games than not.     Any club found to be deliberately listing players in order to play ineligible players in the 3rd or 4th XI will attract a penalty from the Board.

2.10.    Loan Players
2.10.1.    Purpose    The purpose of this rule is to give competitive cricket to players not selected at their own club who will help another club fulfil a fixture and so not spoil a game for those players who are available.
2.10.2.    Qualifying Teams    This section applies to all teams in Divisions 4 and below and the Sunday competition and supports the ECB’s “Get the Game On” policy.
2.10.3.    When can Loan Players be used?    Where a club knows in advance that it may have a shortage of players for a fixture in the weeks ahead it may apply to the league to use loan players from other local clubs.
2.10.4.    Eligibility    The players eligible will be: -    For a Saturday match - players not selected for their own club’s equivalent games on that day.    Players loaned from a Saturday team that have no game on that day cannot have played in 2 of the last 3 matches in which that player was available for selection.    For a Sunday match – players not selected for their own club’s game that day who did not play in the Saturday teams for that club.    Players cannot play against their parent club    No starred player may be loaned.
2.10.5.    Arrangements    Clubs should contact the league on the central e-mail with sufficient time to ensure full arrangements can be completed by 9pm on the Thursday prior to the fixture that they will have player shortages and subsequently notify the league of the player(s) to be used.    There must be agreement of the club holding the registration of the player to the arrangement, the club wishing to use the player should ensure they have this agreement.    The league make no arrangements for loans to take place.  

2.11.    Offset Fixtures
2.11.1.    Reasoning    There are Second XI fixtures that occasionally take place on a Sunday when the club’s 1st XI has played on the Saturday and is not playing on the Sunday. 

2.11.2.    Restrictions    In this case, no players playing in that 1st XI shall play in the Second XI game unless by agreement by the Board in special circumstances.    At any club where a Second XI regularly plays on a Sunday and the First XI plays on Saturday then the starred player rules apply.

2.12.    Objections to Player Eligibility
2.12.1.    Opponents    Where there has been a failure to follow rules on player eligibility by an opposing club then representation should be made to the league by e-mail on from a senior club official - Chairman or Secretary, summarizing why you think that the rules have been breached.    The time limit for opponents making a claim is 7 days from the date of the game, the time limit for another team making a claim is 7 days from the date that the scorecard was posted to cricHQ. 
2.12.2.    Own Club    Where any club has any objection to any decision or ruling made on their own player’s eligibility then representation should be made to the league by e-mail on from a senior club official - Chairman or Secretary, summarising your objections.     This representation should be made within 7 days of the notice of the ruling or within 7 days of the game
2.12.3.    Process
2.12.3,1    The claim must be backed by the club chair or secretary to verify that this is a club decision to challenge rather than an individual we are not resourced to deal with individual’s applications.    In checking a claim the league will check that all parties (both clubs) have conformed to the rules in all their matches in the current season, this will ensure that there can be no counter-claims between clubs in the future.
2.12.4.    Board Ruling    The Board will provide a ruling which is binding.    The Board will consider the sporting element of the issue, any pre match discussion on the eligibility between the clubs, the intentions of selecting the player and the role played by the player at question in the game.
2.12.5         Penalties    Where a club is found guilty of playing an ineligible player then the penalty is loss of points for the game in question    Where a club is found guilty of multiple breaches then the Board may increase the penalty to more than those won for the games in question.