BCB take stance as five are banned
Allen Richardson said that Bermuda Cricket Board had drawn a line in the sand and future misbehaviour by the Islands cricketers would be met with 'the severest of penalties'.
The BCB's disciplinary committee came down hard on several Premier Division players on Thursday night, handing out bans ranging from between three years and nine months for a variety of offences.
Detroy Smith was hardest hit, getting a three-year ban for his part in the gang-related violence that occured during the two Premier Division matches between St George's and PHC this season.
PHC batsman Khiry Furbert, the other main protaganist in the incident was slapped with a two-year ban and won't be able to return to cricket until September, 2013.
“We are drawing a line in the sand,” said Richardson, the BCB vice president. “Particularly any hint of a threat to umpires is going to be dealt with severely if proven correct.
“We have a duty not only to uphold the standards of cricket, and what it stands for, but also a duty to the umpires. And that (behaviour) will not be tolerated.
“From now on the message is don't test us, don't push us.”
Smith and Furbert, who both failed to turn up for the disciplinary hearing, were both charged with Level Four offences and the reason Smith was given a longer ban was because of his previous run-ins with the Board.
While a Level Four offence might not ordinarily result in a two-year ban, Furbert was punished, not only for the unsavoury nature of the initial incident, but for leaving PHC Field on the second occassion and returning with a gang of friends seemingly intent on violence.
Macai Simmons, Smith's St George's team-mate, was the third player caught up in the two nasty altercations which occured at Wellington Oval in July and at PHC Field last month.
Seen as one of the main offenders in the original clash between the players, Simmons was only charged with a level three offence and escaped with a –nine-month ban because St George's successfully argued that there were mitigating circumstances. He will miss a minimal amount of cricket because his ban only runs to May 31 of next year.
In all the Board punished five players on Thursday night, including Willow Cuts duo Deunte Darrell and Chris Douglas for their part in the abandoned game between Cuts and Devonshire Rec last Sunday. Cuts also forefitted the points from that match.
Darrell, who was charged with showing dissent to an umpire, physically threatening an umpiring and verbally abusing an umpire has been suspended for a year, until September 2012.
The Cuts player pleaded guilty to the verbal abuse charge and the fact that he was on probabtion for a previous offence was also taken into account by the disciplinary committee.
Douglas meanwhile, who has been in trouble with the Board every year for the past four years, might count himself lucky to have only escaped from the Rec game with severe reprimand.
The Cuts batsman was seen by several witnesses to kick over the stumps during the end of the bad-tempered match, however, because it was not included in umpire Lester Harnett's report, the Board were unable to take any real action and on punished the Cuts skipper for 'failing to control his players'.
One other thing to have come out of the disciplinary committee on Thursday night is that there will now be a third official at all the Premier Division matches tomorrow.
With Cuts playing in a potential relegation decider against Southampton Rangers, and Devonshire Rec taking on St George's at Wellington Oval the Board are keen to avoid any repeat of the incidents of prior weekends.