Somerset challenge BCB points deductions
Somerset Cricket Club have taken their dispute with the Bermuda Cricket Board to arbitration.
The West Enders are at odds with the BCB over a number of issues, including the board's ruling to declare Flatts as the winners of a Logic Premier Division match at Lord's last season that was never played, a decision to award them and St David's five points each after their league match at the same venue was rained out and also to deduct them 13 points for outstanding umpires' fees.
Alfred Maybury, the president, confirmed yesterday that the club have challenged the BCB's sanctions and have submitted their case to the Department of Youth and Sport's Alternate Dispute Resolution arbitration panel.
“We did appeal to the dispute resolution board when they [BCB] notified us that they were taking the points,” Maybury said. “We lodged an appeal right away as we feel there are a lot of abnormalities which need to be addressed.”
Somerset and St David's were awarded five points each after their September 13 league match at Lord's was rained out. St David's completed their innings but the umpires declared the pitch unfit for play after a rain delay between innings.
Somerset are of the view that they should have been awarded a victory because it was the home team's fault for not properly covering the pitch during the rain delay and also feel there was ample time and light remaining to complete the match.
“That wasn't our fault, so we should not have to share the points,” Maybury said.
Somerset also feel that they were hard done by in the BCB's ruling to award Flatts victory by default, even though no umpires turned up for the August 23 match at Lord's. The BCB declared Flatts as the winners because Somerset did not have the minimum quota of nine players required to play by the scheduled start.
“We feel we were unfairly untreated,” Maybury said.
The BCB's sanctions played a significant factor in Somerset being relegated to the First Division along with Flatts.
“I would rather be relegated on the field, not in the boardroom,” Maybury said.
Somerset submitted their case to the ADR in August and are still waiting for a date for their arbitration hearing to be confirmed.
“We appealed to the dispute resolution board in August and haven't had any response back from them yet,” Maybury said. “We are just waiting to hear back from them to confirm when we are going to have it.”
The BCB's plans to reduce the Premier Division to six teams next season could be affected should the arbitration panel rule in Somerset's favour.
As it stands, the new-look league would consist of champions Southampton Rangers, Bailey's Bay, Cleveland County, St David's, Willow Cuts and promoted Western Stars.