A Cricket Discipline Committee Disciplinary Panel has found Somerset CCC guilty of a breach of the ECB Pitch Regulations following a Disciplinary Panel Hearing at Lord’s.
The hearing was convened after the pitch used in Somerset’s Specsavers County Championship match against Essex at Taunton on 23rd-26th September 2019 was rated as ‘poor’ due to excessive unevenness of bounce.
Following an investigation Somerset were charged with a breach of the regulation that requires that: ‘Each County shall actively seek to prepare the best quality cricket pitch that it can for the match that it is staging’.
The charge consisted of two elements:
- The pitch prepared for the match was correctly rated poor; and
- The pitch prepared for the match was not the best quality pitch that Somerset CCC was able to prepare for the match.
In respect of the first element of the charge Somerset accepted that the pitch rating of ‘poor’ was correct.
In respect of the second element of the charge Somerset pleaded not guilty.
The Panel, which was chaired by Tim O’Gorman alongside Alan Wadey and Claire Taylor, was therefore convened to consider evidence in respect of the second element of the charge.
On the evidence submitted the Panel found that the charge was upheld, and so found Somerset guilty of a breach of the ECB Pitch Regulations.
As a result Somerset have been handed a 24-point deduction – with 12 of those points suspended for two years - ahead of the 2020 Specsavers County Championship season.
Somerset have 14 days to appeal the decision.
The Panel will publish its reasons in due course.