Russells Creek officials upset over team sheet penalty

RUSSELLS Creek is appealing against the severity of its penalty for a team sheet error after being stripped of Saturday’s win and fined $250.

The Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA)  yesterday announced its match committee’s ruling after Creek inadvertently left a player off its team sheet on the first day of its two-day game against Allansford on March 1.

The association decided Creek would take no points from the match but none would be awarded to finals aspirant Allansford. That means Allansford finishes third in the Hopkins conference and misses out on a semi-final berth with Woodford finishing second. Had Allansford been awarded the points, it could have claimed second.

While the ruling had little impact on Creek’s finishing position because it couldn’t make the semi-finals, it has left club officials seething.

President Glenn Kelson said his club would appeal against the penalty. “The fine is excessive, especially when we brought it to the attention of the umpires and the opposition captain,” he said. “Our committee is pretty angry about it.”

Creek is upset the penalty is considerably harsher than the one meted out to Merrivale last season when it played a player in a one-day game against Nirranda who was not listed on the team sheet. Merrivale was originally fined $250 and stripped of bonus points before the points were reinstated and the fined reduced to $100 on appeal.

“We have lost the points and copped a $250 fine when the precedent was set,” Kelson said. “Why are we being dealt with in a different manner? That’s why we will be appealing against the severity.”

Earlier yesterday association general manager Michael Harrison said the match committee had met on Sunday night.

Harrison said the association sought advice from Cricket Victoria about how to proceed after Creek raised its error with the Gators and umpires mid-way through the first day’s play.

“They advised us to play the match out and then deal with it,” he said. 

“We wanted to make sure,  what do you do with the player who wasn’t on the team sheet? Can he continue to play and they said yes and then the match committee deals with it.”

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