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Cleveland: Douglas row none of our business

Cleveland County will not be appealing the Eastern Counties second round loss to St David's on Saturday, Carlton Smith, their president, said yesterday.

Controversy surfaced in the competition on Monday, less than 48 hours after one of the most exciting matches in the competition for several years, when it was learnt Chris Douglas of St David's was slapped with a three-month ban by the Bermuda Cricket Board last Thursday, two days before the match.

St David's went on to win by one wicket to dethrone the holders.

“There is no appeal coming from Cleveland; we lost the game outright on the field and it was their [the Eastern Counties Cricket Association] decision to allow him to play and we will not be appealing,” Smith said.

The Cleveland president also pointed out that Douglas did not play a significant role in the victory, scoring only one run before he was trapped leg-before. He also did not take any catches.

“We are definitely not going to appeal the outcome of the game, so it's St David's and Bailey's Bay in two weeks' time,” Smith said.

Douglas did not play on Sunday for St David's as they suffered their first loss in the league to Western Stars. The ban means he will miss the rest of the season, though it remains to be seen if the player, the son of Stephen Douglas, the Eastern Counties president, will be selected to play in the counties final against Bailey's Bay.

Not for the first time the issue of what power the Bermuda Cricket Board has over the two oldest competitions, Cup Match and Eastern Counties, has come into question. The Board did not get involved last year during the controversial first round match between Cleveland and Bailey's Bay when delaying tactics by Cleveland denied Bay victory in a close match at Lord's.

The Eastern Counties took action against five Cleveland players, including banning Shaki Darrell for 14 games for threatening behaviour towards the umpires.

The BCB did not take disciplinary action of its own, though the Board did act when Jason Anderson was involved in a scuffle with George O'Brien during the Champion of Champions final last year between Cleveland and Willow Cuts.

Anderson received a ban for life while O'Brien was banned for six league matches.

The BCB also did not take action against Treadwell Gibbons over his conduct in Cup Match three years ago when he disputed his dismissal after being given out caught at slip by Janeiro Tucker in the second innings.

His club, St George's, handed him a suspended two-year ban and fined him 50 per cent of his match fee, while the Board withdrew him from a national squad that was training for the World Twenty20 Tournament. He was included in the squad which they say was chosen prior to Cup Match.

O'Brien was also withdrawn from the national squad, a 30-member Bermuda training squad ahead of the ICC World Cup qualifying tournament in 2005 after he was involved in a fight with Stephen Outerbridge in Cup Match at Wellington Oval.

“And they say they run all cricket,” Smith said. “The Eastern Counties did their ban of my players for the Bay game, and the BCB wanted to step in and issue more suspensions but the Eastern Counties said ‘no thank you'. That's why they have only been banned for county games.

“Realistically, if we never banned Jason Anderson then he could have been able to play for us on Saturday. We banned him for life and then the Board banned him for life, too. They were saying he can't play league cricket, but he could play Eastern Counties.”

Cleveland Richardson, the St David's president, declined to comment as the club is appealing the Douglas ban.

No appeal: Cleveland have said they will not contest the outcome of Saturday's game at Sea Breeze Oval (Photographs by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 17, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 17, 2016 at 12:05 pm)

Cleveland: Douglas row none of our business

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