Wales cricket team would be 'catastrophic' warns Glamorgan chief

Hugh Morris
Hugh Morris (left) with First Minister Carwyn Jones' (right) at the Swalec Stadium

Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris has warned of the "catastrophic" financial consequences should Wales form its own cricket team.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said he supported the idea of a Wales one-day cricket team provided there was no "financial hit" on Glamorgan.

But Morris believes the prospect would be hugely detrimental.

"It would have a fundamental and catastrophic impact on the finances of cricket in Wales," said Morris.

Jones had said it was "odd" Ireland and Scotland had teams while Wales did not.

His response came to a question in the Senedd from Conservative AM, Mohammad Asghar, who supports the idea of a Wales cricket team.

In 2013, an assembly committee called for "an intelligent discussion on the feasibility" of establishing such a team.

No England matches in Wales

But Morris opposes the establishment of a Wales team, saying Glamorgan would consequently lose its status as a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Additionally, Wales would no longer be part of the ECB and would rather be classed as an associate member of the International Cricket Council.

As a result, England internationals would no longer be played in Cardiff, which would have serious financial repercussions for the club and cricket in Wales according to Morris.

"I can understand the philosophical argument being a proud Welshman myself," said Morris.

"The thing the First Minister said in the Assembly was that he was in favour of it as long as it did not impact on the finances of Glamorgan cricket and cricket in Wales.

"Fundamentally it would. The reality and impact is we [Glamorgan] would host no international matches in Cardiff, we wouldn't be playing in domestic first-class cricket in ECB competitions.

Mark Wallace of Wales steers the ball past England's Ashley Giles of England in a friendly in 2003 at Sophia Gardens
Wales played three one-day games against England from 2002 to 2004

"We wouldn't have any fee payments from the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"Our income at the moment for cricket in Wales, between us and Cricket Wales, is £8m per annum.

"If we were to join the ICC as an associate member we would get five per cent of that income from grassroots to professional level."

From 2002 to 2004, a Wales team played against England in a one-day challenge match each June, scoring a shock eight-wicket victory in 2002.

Starting at the bottom

Morris says Wales would need to start at the bottom tier should they leave the ECB and become an associate member of the ICC, joining 93 other nations, such as Scotland and Jersey.

Ireland and Afghanistan were granted full membership in June, joining the 10 other nations with full test status.

"It has been one or the other so far," Morris told the Jason Mohammad show on BBC Radio Wales.

"Either we are a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board or an ICC associate member like Scotland.

"Ireland has just done really well in getting Test status of the ICC, but it has taken them 30 years to get to that position.

"If we were to join the ICC now we would be starting in the bottom league against the likes of Guernsey, Jersey and Germany.

"We wouldn't be having some of the world's best players coming to Wales."

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