The New Zealand's players' handbook now includes guidelines relating to good communication when engaging in sexual relationships, with particular reference to consent.
Amid growing concerns of harassment of women in the work place and by men in positions of power, brought to light through the #metoo campaign, the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA) included a section in the players' handbook for the first time on the importance of consent in sexual relationships.
The notes, under a section titled "good decision-making", begin by saying: "Making good decisions is important in all aspects of life. This is particularly important when relating to sexual relationships, and especially around matters of consent. No matter the situation, sexual consent is crucial."
The notes go on to point out that consent is required by law and that "if they say no, it means no". It also talks about not pressurising a person into giving their consent, and respecting a person's freedom to withdraw consent even after sexual relations have started.
A programme on the potential risks a cricketer faces has been run by NZCPA for about seven years, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald, but this is the first time it has been included in the players' handbook. Sexual relationships apart, the programme on "personal development" also deals with other potential risky situations, including doping and coping with life after cricket.
NZCPA chief executive Heath Mills said the handbook was updated with this information simply to make it more accessible to players all over New Zealand.
"If people are making good decisions they're aware of the risks around being a professional cricketer and are aware of the importance of respect and responsibility, then they're going to be skills and attributes they're going to have for life no matter what career they're involved in," Mills told New Zealand Herald. "There's a whole heap of pages in here, and they're all aspects of the personal development programme that we run. Good decision-making is one aspect to it."