PHC and Dev Rec. in row over Stephens’ eligibility – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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PHC and Dev Rec. in row over Stephens’ eligibility

Bermuda Cricket Board are investigating whether or not Dean Stephens was eligible to play for Devonshire Rec on Sunday.

The BCB have received a letter from PHC, who Rec beat this past weekend, questioning whether or not Stephens had returned too soon from an eight match ban which began on June 25.

PHC are understood to have objected on the grounds that Stephens, who played for the Warwick club last year, counted two of PHC's Western County matches towards his ban.

However, the Premier Division strugglers are claiming that Stephens would almost certainly not have been picked as a guest player for their first game against Warwick .

“Dean's name never came up when we were discussing the county team,” said a PHC official. “I doubt he would have been picked for the first game, considering we were playing Warwick.

“Like I said I doubt we would have used him against Warwick because we were looking at Tre Manders as our only guest player. He was the only one we took because we wanted to lock him in for the next game against Willow Cuts.

“It's a flaw in their (BCB) system that they allow players to use county and stuff like that, as opposed to just club games, it's really crazy.

In another twist Rec say they called the Board prior to the game at PHC Field to ask if Stephens could play and claim to have been told that he could.

“We asked the Board if Dean (Stephens) could play and they said yes,” said Rec skipper Derrick Brangman. “We heard about PHC's letter and we're not that worried about it.”

Sunday's defeat left PHC firmly at the bottom of the clubs remaining in the Premier Division, 14 points adrift of Southampton Rangers just above them, and 19 points behind Rec.

The three clubs play each other over the next two weeks, and any change from Sunday's encounter could blow the relegation scrap wide open.

Stephens was suspended in June for his part in an angry confrontation with umpires James McKirdy and Hector Watson following a game against Bailey's Bay.

Stephens' ban began on June 25 when Rec were still due to play Young Men's Social Club, who had withdrawn from the league a day earlier, twice on July 10 and 31.

If the Social Club games are allowed to stand as ones that counted towards the ban, then the only question is whether Stephens can also count the two Western County games as well.

There is precedent for him being allowed to do so as Southampton Rangers skipper Dion Stovell was able to use Somerset's Cup Match trial as the one match he missed for a ban given to him at the beginning of last month.

The BCB confirmed yesterday that they had passed the matter to their technical committee and would make a ruling shortly.

“The BCB can confirm they have received a letter from PHC regarding this matter which the technical committee is currently investigating,” said the BCB.

“The result will be released in due course.”

Devonshire Rec batsman Dean Stephens in action for his ex-club PHC.

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Published August 10, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 10, 2011 at 10:49 am)

PHC and Dev Rec. in row over Stephens’ eligibility

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