Dear Safeguarding Officer,

There has been an important change in legislation that we as a sport need to be aware of.  Our coaches and young players should also be made aware, and I encourage you to share this email and the attached explanatory document from the ECB with your clubs.

The Sexual Offences Act of 2003 defines the legal age of sexual consent at 16 years.  Where someone is in a ‘Position of Trust’ then the age of consent rises to 18 years.  There was however a loophole in the law that has now (thankfully) been closed that meant that sports coaches and others were excluded from the definition of ‘Position of Trust’, so a coach having sexual contact with a child of 16/17 in their care would not commit an offence.  The law has now changed, and the POT law now applies within both a sports and religious setting.

This is a very welcome change to legislation which will provide an additional safeguard for young people in our game and indeed across sport.

This change supports and strengthens the existing expectations of the coaches' code of conduct, which states that coaches must avoid sexual intimacy with players, either while coaching them or in the period of time immediately following the end of a coaching relationship.

The ECB expects that everyone who works or volunteers with children and young people in cricket to be responsible and accountable for the way in which they behave towards them. It is expected that all adult-child relationships maintain clear boundaries, are positive and aimed at improving the young person’s skills, development and progress.

The ECB Safeguarding Team will continue to assess all instances of inappropriate behaviour towards children in cricket, referring any potential illegal activity to our safeguarding partners.