A 2003 European Union ruling on the right of a Slovakian handball player to play in Germany has had a massive impact on English county cricket. It created an opening for players from countries with trade agreements with the EU (in effect South Africa, Zimbabwe and some Caribbean countries) to bypass the limits on overseas players and sign for counties. A trickle became a flood, and by 2008 there were more than 60 Kolpak cricketers in England, causing debate and acrimony between counties with arguments that their presence weakened English cricket. Click here for a more in-depth explanation.

South Africa news

South Africa rethink 'no sin' - Petersen

Alviro Petersen, South Africa's Test opening batsman, has defended his decision to turn his back on Glamorgan and has said it is "no sin" to want to play for South Africa.

The Kolpak debate

Craig Kieswetter reiterates England desire

Craig Kieswetter, the Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman, has reiterated his commitment to qualifying for England after Graeme Smith said he wanted to bring him back to his native South Africa

County view

Glamorgan's Kolpak-free future?

Ivo Tennant looks at the Kolpak question, one that Glamorgan in particular is seeking to answer

Champions League

Countries win out over cash?

If there's a clash in loyalty when the Champions League takes place, it has been agreed that IPL players will represent the domestic teams of their home countries

'It's dangerous for our game'

Giles slams 'serious' Kolpak situation

Ashley Giles has slammed counties who increasingly lean on Kolpak signings to boost their squads

EU set to back England board

Kolpak review on the cards

The ECB is close to securing a concession from the European Union which could enable it to place restrictions on the number of Kolpak players

Spongers or smart operators?

Leicestershire's avowed strategy is to build a core group of senior overseas pros as mentors for young English talent

County news

Derbyshire secure Hinds on Kolpak deal

Derbyshire have successfully signed Wavell Hinds as a Kolpak player after taking advantage of the ECB's weakening position towards trying to refuse registration