County teams would have to pay fine between UK 20,000 to UK 50,000    Getty Images
County teams would have to pay fine between UK 20,000 to UK 50,000 Getty Images

English county sides have been warned they could face hefty fines if they “tap up” players from other clubs who are still under contract, a report said Wednesday. Britain’s Times newspaper said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had sent out a letter after several allegations of players having been approached either by counties or by third parties in recent years. Some sides, particularly those in division two of the county championship, have become increasingly concerned that their players are being approached over potential moves to bigger clubs, the report said.

English cricket chiefs, in their warning letter, said they would enforce the regulations relating to player registration. The rules state: “A county must not approach or be involved in discussions with any cricketer registered by another county or any agent or other person on his behalf with a view to offering him a trial or registering him or employing him in any capacity.”

A county that fails to comply “shall be liable to a fine of not less than UK 20,000 (US $26,500) and not more than UK 50,000”, the regulations say.