Cricket Discipline Commission: an explainer

Background on the Cricket Discipline Commission.

The Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) is the body that hears disciplinary cases in the professional domestic game in England and Wales.

Key questions on the Disciplinary Process and CDC’s role and remit

What is the Cricket Discipline Commission?

The CDC operates at arm’s length from the ECB and is responsible for adjudicating on alleged breaches of the ECB’s Rules and Regulations, in accordance with the CDC Regulations.

The general aim of the CDC Regulations is to provide an efficient and fair system of dealing with alleged breaches of the ECB’s Rules and Regulations.  CDC disciplinary panels comprise three independent and suitably qualified and experienced individuals.

When is a CDC Disciplinary Hearing convened?

Each matter is considered on a case-by-case basis and, if appropriate, the individual or organisation is charged by the ECB and the matter is referred to a CDC Disciplinary Hearing.

What allegations or offences can you look into?

Any conduct which is alleged to breach the ECB’s Rules and Regulations.

Who can action be taken against?

As per the CDC Regulations, teams, registered cricketers, coaches who are employed by a club (for acts after March 2018), umpires and match referees, registered agents, ECB committee members and anyone else who has agreed in writing to be bound by the ECB Rules and Regulations.

The current CDC Regulations do not allow for direct disciplinary action to be taken by the ECB against individual club officers, employees or committee members, unless they are separately personally bound by our Regulations in their capacity as a registered cricketer or otherwise. Any ECB disciplinary action in relation to their conduct would be taken against the relevant organisation which they represent.

How is an ECB investigation carried out?

The ECB Integrity Team will investigate any matter which may constitute a breach of the ECB’s Rules and Regulations.  It has a broad discretion as to how to conduct such an investigation and may do so either following receipt of a complaint or of its own volition. Depending on the circumstances, it will either carry out the investigation internally or instruct external specialist lawyers to assist it.

The investigation will typically include interviews and/or correspondence with relevant witnesses and the consideration of all available documentary and other evidence to establish whether any given person has a case to answer under the CDC Regulations. 

Is the ECB determining guilt by bringing charges?

No.  Bringing charges simply means the ECB believes that there is a case for the relevant defendant to answer as to whether they have breached the ECB’s Rules and Regulations, but the person charged is entitled to deny the charge and contest it at a hearing before the CDC disciplinary panel. It is for the CDC disciplinary panel, after hearing all of the available evidence, to determine guilt or otherwise.

What happens once charges are brought?

When the decision is made to refer a charge for a disciplinary hearing, it is passed to the CDC Chair, who will appoint a CDC disciplinary panel.

Each defendant will have received a charge letter and the evidence supporting the charge(s) and will have a period of time in which to submit any evidence in response.

The individual or club charged can admit or deny the charge(s). If they admit the charge(s), the CDC disciplinary panel will convene a hearing to determine the applicable sanctions.

If they deny the charge(s), the CDC disciplinary panel will convene a hearing to determine liability. If the CDC disciplinary panel upholds the charge(s), it will also determine the sanction(s).

Who is on a Disciplinary Panel for a Disciplinary Hearing?

The CDC Chair appoints themself or another member of the CDC to be the Chair of a disciplinary panel, and that person then selects two other individuals to sit with them on the panel. 

To ensure independence, any proposed member of a CDC disciplinary panel needs to disclose any conflicts of interest before they can be appointed.

When does a Disciplinary Hearing take place?

The CDC disciplinary panel will decide the timings of the hearing, with the aim of a hearing taking place as soon as reasonably practicable.

What are potential sanctions?

In any particular case, a CDC disciplinary panel may impose any one or more of the sanctions expressly prescribed in the CDC Regulations. As regards individuals, these include but are not limited to:

  • Caution as to future conduct;
  • Reprimand
  • Unlimited fine
  • Suspension of eligibility to play in any match(es) or for any fixed period;
  • Suspension of eligibility for selection to play for England in any match(es) or for any fixed period
  • Suspension (for any period) or termination of registration; and
  • Completion of any education/training programme/course

For a club, potential sanctions also include suspension from ECB competition(s), points deductions or alteration of match results.

Does the ECB have any say in the sanctions?

The ECB simply acts as prosecutor and does not determine sanctions (or liability). If a club or individual pleads not guilty and contests the charge(s), it is for the CDC disciplinary panel alone to determine whether to uphold the charge(s), and if so what sanction(s) to impose.   Similarly, if a club or individual pleads guilty, it is for the CDC disciplinary panel alone to determine what sanction(s) to impose.

When are the findings of a Disciplinary Panel communicated?

Findings are communicated as soon as is reasonably practicable after the relevant hearing.

The CDC disciplinary panel’s written reasons are published in full unless it determines that doing so would be inappropriate.

Find more information here.

Is there an appeals process?

The ECB or the relevant defendant may appeal a decision of a CDC disciplinary panel in accordance with the appeal provisions in the CDC Regulations. Any such appeal needs to be lodged within 14 days of the relevant CDC disciplinary panel decision.