The PCA and Epic Risk Management have signed a “landmark” four-year partnership which will offer a ‘first-of-its-kind’ agreement in cricket.

The Professional Cricketers’ Association and Epic Risk Management have signed a “landmark” four-year partnership which will offer a ‘first-of-its-kind’ agreement in cricket. 

As part of the deal, both Epic and the PCA will provide gambling awareness educational programmes across the entirety of its members and for all women’s county and region squads. 

The sessions will form part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme – a personalised support service which enables individuals to to excel and develop sustainable performance within and outside of cricket. 

“We are delighted to continue our work with the Professional Cricketers’ Association,” says Patrick Foster, director of UK and rest of the world at Epic Risk Management.

“In 2021 we have been able to provide sessions for the county academies and women’s regional teams, conducting these sessions digitally during lockdown and more recently in person.

“The initial feedback from players has been really encouraging, with the squads showing great interest in the vital message we’ve been delivering; they’ve asked plenty of pertinent questions and demonstrated a lot of understanding how important an issue it is.

“We’re particularly pleased to have been delivering these sessions to the women’s regional teams, which is an important step for all parties as the profile and reward of their competition grows. We’re delighted with this start and looking forward to extending our partnership into the future.”

Consisting of four steps, the first year will see the gambling awareness educational programme offered to all county academies and women’s regional teams, the second will see all county professional squads and rookie camps offered the programme, the third will provide for all county academies, women’s region teams and rookie camp, with the final year of the partnership offering all county professional squads and rookie camps with the educational service. 

The programme is said to support players’ welfare and wellbeing through promotion, prevention and intervention strategies, such as delivering gambling harm awareness education. 

Ian Thomas, director of member services at the PCA, added: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with Epic Risk Management in the first agreement of its kind.

“We have worked extensively with Epic in the past and the quality of education delivery has always been of the highest standard, so we look forward to this partnership continuing in an official capacity for the next four years, including delivering education to women cricketers for the very first time.

“The welfare of our members is always our first priority, so it’s important that we make all professional cricketers, as well as academy players, aware of the mental health implications that recreational gambling can pose with assistance from Epic Risk Management.”