25.11.2020,13:11 278 0

The Cricket Supporters Association Seeks to Make Voices of Fans Heard

The Cricket Supporters Association Seeks to Make Voices of Fans Heard

The Cricket Supporters Association (CSA) reflects the belief that a cricket fan is an important stakeholder who can contribute to the governance of the game and that this fact needs to be recognised by all other stakeholders.

What is the Cricket Supporters Association?

The Cricket Supporters Association, touted as a “fully independent, democratic, not for profit organisation” is the brainchild of Becky Fairlie-Clarke, an English cricket fan, and George Dobell, a senior correspondent of ESPNcricinfo, both of whom believe that a cricket fan has rights, wishes and needs that must be heard by the stakeholders and administrators of the game, as well as by media. To this end, the CSA aims to give the cricket fan a stronger say in which the game is run. Those who watch matches regularly in the UK can expect their voices to be promoted, preserved and protected.

Three Pillars of the CSA

The founders of the CSA claim that they have built it on three pillars – accessibility, accountability and advocacy.

Accessibility

The CSA aims to make the game accessible to all fans, whether in the form of free-to-air media or with the help of affordable tickets.

Accountability

The CSA wants the administrators of the game to remain accountable to the spectators who are, according to the association’s core belief, the most important stakeholders. The upcoming launch of the Hundred by the ECB is seen by the CSA as an immediate cause of concern that the ECB is not accountable to fans and that fans’ voices are not being heard in a fast-changing cricket landscape. According to Dobell, when ECB officials claim to have consulted all stakeholders of the game, they refer to players, broadcasters, sponsors and others, while they choose to ignore those who pay the wages of the people who run the game – the spectators. The CSA is in effect asking the question, in whose interest is the Hundred being launched? In other words, who is the target market? If the spectator has not been consulted, then the launch is a wasteful exercise that could do more harm than good to the game.

Advocacy

The CSA seeks to allow spectators to influence the way the game is run. The founders of the CSA have been toying with the idea of having a CSA representative on the ECB board. But that must remain a pipe dream, at least for now. As an immediate measure, they are keen to have a fan advisory board that can work with the ECB to ensure that any development of the game is in keeping with the interests of fans.

Free Membership

All cricket fans can join the CSA free of charge and make their voices heard in various ways. For instance, they can express views on the online forum, participate in surveys run by the CSA, engage with the CSA’s social media channels, or attend their biannual meetings at one of many venues in the UK. Fans who wish to become volunteers of the CSA can begin by sending an email to the CSA.

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