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Decision on Worcs v Kent

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On Thursday July 19 the board of ECB met to review its resolution to reschedule the Worcestershire v Kent LV County Championship match.

This decision had been taken by the board in the spirit of fair play to Kent CCC who had been disadvantaged by a decision taken by Worcestershire CCC not to relocate the LV County Championship match under Rule 40 when two other venues were available.

In the board’s opinion this decision had been taken in good faith but was incorrect as there was a material likelihood that no play would be possible in that match at Worcester due to the severe flooding.

At its meeting on July 19 the board agreed with concerns that a rescheduling of the match could result in Worcestershire CCC gaining advantage from this resolution.

The board therefore determined to explore further alternative solutions, in particular the award of additional points to Kent CCC as had been suggested by some first class counties.

Kent CCC had obtained an average of nine points from away LV County Championship matches this season and the Board determined that it may be equitable in the exceptional circumstances of Rule 40 (which allows for a relocation of venue) not having been utilised, to consider an objective measure to provide redress to Kent. This was based on the premise that:

(i) Worcestershire should not gain from a rescheduled match; and

(ii) Kent CCC had been the innocent party and had been disadvantaged.

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The board took counsel’s advice on the suggestion made to the board to award points and were advised in advance of its meeting on July 24 that any consideration of a points award would require unanimous support from the nine Counties in Division 1 of the LV County Championship.

The board further determined that the resolution to reschedule the match was flawed in that it could provide advantage to Worcestershire CCC, and the alternative of restricting them from earning additional points in a rescheduled match could mean that the match would not be truly competitive.

The board therefore determined to test the proposal to award Kent CCC 9 points and Worcestershire CCC 4 points from the abandoned match by putting the proposal to the 9 affected counties for ratification.

This test proposal was based on justifiable methodology premised on the average number of points gained by Kent CCC from their away LV County Championship matches this season.

Durham CCC, Lancashire CCC, Warwickshire CCC and Yorkshire CCC indicated that they would not support the proposal.

Whilst the board has great sympathy for Kent CCC it is recognised that the rescheduling of the match could lead to an inadvertent benefit to Worcestershire CCC.

The board was advised by counsel that the option of awarding points to Kent CCC would require unanimity from counties in Division 1 of the LV County Championship which was not forthcoming.

The New Road venue is flooded and could not host the match on the rescheduled dates. The board has therefore determined the only option left to it which is that the match be abandoned and that Worcestershire CCC and Kent CCC shall each gain four points from the abandoned match.