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Somerset pitch sanction delayed until next County Championship season

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The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that Somerset County Cricket Club’s points deduction for a breach of the ECB’s Pitch Regulations will be rolled on to the next County Championship season.

A Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) Panel has ruled in favour of an ECB application to vary the sanctions in accordance with the provision of CDC Regulation 8.7.

In essence, this means that:

  • The direct 12-point penalty applies to the next County Championship, which is expected to be in 2021.
  • The suspended 12-point element remains in place for the next County Championship, again expected to be in 2021, and the subsequent County Championship (expected to be in 2022).

Somerset did not contest the proposed variation of the sanctions.

The County Championship will not be played this summer with the one-off Bob Willis Trophy, which is a separate first-class competition, to be staged instead in 2020.

Somerset was found guilty of breaching the ECB Pitch Regulations after the pitch used in its final home County Championship match against Essex last season was rated as ‘poor’ due to excessive unevenness of bounce.

The club was handed a 24-point deduction – with 12 of those points suspended for two years – following a hearing with a CDC Disciplinary Panel in November 2019.