Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
July 1, 2023 1 year

Cricket Scotland and the Cricket Scotland Match Officials Association (CSMOA) have today issued the following statement in support of match officials and the game of cricket across Scotland:

Since the beginning of the 2023 season, a number of incidents of criticism and dissent related to decisions made by appointed match officials have been brought to our attention. At this midway point in the domestic season, both Cricket Scotland and the CSMOA wish to strongly reinforce to all players, club officials, and supporters that abuse, criticism and dissent towards match officials and their decisions, whether during fixtures or on social media platforms following matches, is completely unacceptable in any form. Abuse of this nature is a breach of the Laws of the game, as well as the Spirit of Cricket which is unique to our sport.

Cricket Scotland fully supports all match officials appointed by the CSMOA, who are an integral part of our game. The majority of players and clubs appreciate the mostly unsung work the teams of officials carry out on a weekly basis across Scotland. Cricket Scotland is working together with the CSMOA to further support all officials in encouraging them to report any incidents of abuse, criticism, or dissent via the Cricket Scotland Code of Conduct if they continue to occur.

The perceived quality of decision-making by match officials will not be considered a defence for any such actions. Match officials make a huge number of decisions during each game and across the whole season. Inevitably, not every decision will be correct, but in domestic cricket mistakes must be accepted as part of the game. Decisions on the field must be entrusted to the appointed match officials, and nobody else.

Cricket Scotland and the CSMOA are mindful of the growing use of Frogbox devices to publicise coverage of domestic club cricket around Scotland. This season we have seen several instances of its availability being used to question the decisions of match officials.This situation cannot continue: the Frogbox technology is not in place to allow players and supporters to retrospectively review and challenge decisions during matches, or afterwards in a public forum. The purpose of Frogbox is to give the game greater exposure, rather than be utilised as a judgement tool on match officials; furthermore, the technology is of an insufficient standard to allow accurate analysis of decisions.

In recent times, the CSMOA has seen its membership numbers slowly depleting, to the point whereby the organisation is extremely concerned about the prospect of future recruitment to the pool of officials. Incidents such as those described above greatly harm the attempts of the CSMOA and Cricket Scotland to encourage the recruitment and development of match officials.

We ask all players and club officials to remind themselves of the content of the Cricket Scotland Code of Conduct, including the sections related to dissent and public criticism of umpiring decisions, and inappropriate comments made at any stage during or after a match, amongst other offences.

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