Cricket Discipline Commission upholds Middlesex’s two-point penalty

Somerset County Cricket Club have welcomed the Cricket Discipline Commission’s decision to uphold Middlesex County Cricket Club’s two point deduction.

The Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) today announced that it had upheld the deduction from Middlesex CCC for a slow over rate in their Specsavers County Championship match against Surrey at the Kia Oval in August.

Following today’s decision Somerset CEO Lee Cooper said: “We were confident that the ECB’s original decision would stand and we are delighted with the outcome.

“We are pleased that this has now been put to rest and we can concentrate on preparing for next season in the First Division of the Specsavers County Championship.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ECB for the swift resolution of this matter.”

Over-rate penalties are automatically applied in the First-Class game under Playing Condition 16.4 with no right of appeal. However, due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding this fixture, the ECB and Middlesex agreed to send submissions to the CDC Chairman, Tim O’Gorman, for his consideration. Having considered these submissions, he was satisfied that this was not a matter that should be referred to a Disciplinary Panel Hearing.

In reaching his decision, Mr 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. 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.”

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