Points reinstated, fine slashed as Merrivale team sheet saga ends

CRICKET officials have reinstated Merrivale  6.65 bonus points as the sheet saga reached a conclusion.

The Tigers have also had a $250 fine for failing to name James Fary on their team sheet for the round two match against Nirranda slashed to $100.

The decisions came after a lengthy hearing at Action Indoor Sports Centre on Monday night. It brings an end to a three-week saga which has dominated the headlines.

The drama began when Fary did not appear on the Tigers’ team sheet but came on to bowl the second over of the match at Nirranda on October 20.

Nirranda captain Jason Mungean raised the issue with umpires Justin Balmer and Nick Frampton, who after a short discussion allowed play to continue.

Fary took 3-10 as the Knights were all out for 89. Merrivale passed the total one wicket down to earn 18.65 points.

But Nirranda filed a formal complaint and the Tigers lost 6.65 bonus points and copped a $250 fine.

Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) general manager Andrew Sloane said the four-member appeal panel maintained Merrivale was guilty of the rule breach.

But he said the panel determined the breach warranted a lesser punishment.

“The board has essentially upheld the match committee’s finding in that Merrivale was non-compliant with playing condition 9.1.2,” he said.

“However, they have reduced the penalties against the club.

“Certainly it’s put the importance of accurate team sheets on the agenda for the entire league.

“It sends a pretty clear message that captains, while they do have a lot of responsibility on the day, need to ensure they follow the rules.”

Sloane said the decision would not be a set-in-stone precedent for future team sheet breaches.

“Every scenario is different,” he said.

“I’m sure previous penalties will be taken into consideration where appropriate.”

Merrivale captain Michael Walsh said the Tigers would accept the decision.

“We’re stoked with that,” he said.

“We were hoping it would get reduced, the points and the fine.

“We thought it was a little bit harsh for an honest mistake that was made that we admitted to.

“We went in there aiming for what we got. But at the same time we knew we were risking more than what we had already lost.

“It was a little bit of a gamble but it’s paid off.”

afawkes@standard.fairfax.com.au

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