Cricket: Middlesex fail in appeal against points deduction
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Decision to dock Middlesex two points for slow over rate at Surrey in August stands
Middlesex will line up in County Championship Division Two next season after their appeal to overturn a controversial two-point deduction was rejected.
The Lord’s-based outfit were docked points for their slow over rate in their Division One clash at Surrey in August, which was abandoned after a crossbow bolt was fired onto the pitch.
The deduction proved costly as Middlesex finished one point adrift of safety in the final standings.
A ruling by the Cricket Discipline Committee (CDC) found that the matter did not need referring to a disciplinary panel hearing as “rules relating to over rates are clear and understood by all teams, coaches, players, and captains.”
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In reaching his decision, CDC chairman Tim O’Gorman said: “It is in the interests of the whole game that arrangements are put in place to prevent slow over rates, and it is noted that the requirement of 16 overs per hour is a minimum rate.
“The rules relating to over rates are clear and understood by all teams, coaches, players, and captains.
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“Although it may be common practice that teams will seek to make up time later in a match, even in the second innings, if they seek to do this they must also be aware that approaching their over rate in such a way carries with it an inherent risk.
“If, for any reason, they are unable to make the time up, the appropriate sanction will be imposed. Middlesex have sought to argue that it was only because of the abandonment of the game that they did not make up their overs but that cannot be entirely correct.
“There was no guarantee that, if the game had run its normal course those overs could ever have been made up.
“I do not accept that Middlesex only agreed to the abandonment of the match on condition that their slow over rate in the first innings would be overlooked.
“It is not within the power or gift of either the umpires or the players to make deals like that.
“The match was abandoned for safety reasons. Play ended accordingly and the points earned or deducted should stand with effect from that time.”
Next season will be the first back in the second tier of the County Championship for Middlesex since they won the Division Two title in 2011.