As a Member of the Petitions Committee, I stepped in to chair the Petitions Committee meeting of 13 March in the Chair’s absence. Petitions Committee meetings always cover a varied range of subjects, but Tuesday’s meeting was particularly interesting, due to a lively discussion on the petition calling for the Welsh Government to support the establishment of a Welsh international cricket team.
The Committee first considered this petition in October 2011. After this, the Committee decided to collect balanced information on whether or not there was support for a national cricket team. This information can be found at the following link: http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=1901
Owing to the strong views that were expressed both for and against the petition, the Committee decided to bat it back to the respondents and discuss the issue. Key players invited to the discussion were: the petitioner, Jonathan Edwards MP, Mohammad Asghar AM, Sport Wales, Glamorgan Cricket and Cricket Wales.
The discussion covered many points, including the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a Wales team, the actual process of establishing the team and the effects on funding of the sport.
In addition, the effect on Glamorgan County Cricket Club was discussed. At the moment, Glamorgan participates in ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) competitions at the highest level and can bid to host test matches involving the England team at their home stadium. Cricket Wales argue that if Wales became an independent cricketing nation, Glamorgan’s status as a first-class county would be jeopardised, as would its ECB funding. However, others argue that as a member and guarantor of the ECB, Glamorgan could continue to receive funding and retain its status.
The discussion also touched on the Woolf review of the governance of the International Cricket Council, which recommended the simplifying of different levels of ICC membership, which could also have an effect on any independent Welsh team. The ICC is due to consider the report and its recommendations in April 2012.
All the points that came out of the discussion will be discussed by the Petitions Committee at its next meeting, on 27 March, at 9 am. You can watch the meeting live on Senedd TV or you can watch the meeting live from the public gallery in the Senedd.
I would like to thank all participants for attending the meeting, and was delighted to see the tweet from Jonathan Edwards MP: “sesiwn buddiol iawn ddoe, dangos gwerth fforwm fel pwyllgor petitions ir broses democrataidd”.
Roughly translated into English, it says: ‘a very beneficial session yesterday – it shows the value added to the democratic process by a forum like the Petitions Committee’.
Joyce Watson AM