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Bay pushing hard for rules in Eastern Counties to be revised

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Stern words: Umpires Emmerson Carrington, left, and Alex Knight let Justin Pitcher, the St David's captain, know that the slow overs rate is not acceptable during an Eastern Counties first-round match against Bailey's Bay in 2019 (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Stephen Outerbridge

Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club has vowed to step up their bid to have the rules governing the Eastern Counties competition revised.

The club hope to see the playing conditions amended to discourage time-wasting and afford each team a fair opportunity to win.

Bay expressed concerns in a letter they sent to the Eastern Counties Cricket Association in 2019.

“We wrote to the Eastern Counties about things they need to change as far as the rules and the time wasting that has happened to us twice in three or four years,” Stephen Outerbridge, the Bay president, said.

“The executive didn’t move on it previously but our agenda will be pushed and they will know that that’s what we are about. A lot of hard research went behind it and it makes sense.”

Bay were denied victory by Cleveland County's time-wasting tactics in 2015 when the match ended in a draw with Bay reaching the required target of 127 at the 7.20pm cut-off time.

In the first round of the 2019 competition, Bay again came close in their run chase, replying to the 226 for eight posted by St David's with 206 for eight when the stumps were pulled at Lord's.

Bay bowled 65 overs while St David's managed 41 of their 53 overs.

The records of third umpire Melvin Best determined that St David’s were just one over behind the required rate and that Bay were nine overs ahead.

Outerbridge, who was elected as Bay’s president during the club’s recent annual meeting, believes such time-wasting tactics are not in the best interest of the game or the spectators.

“We’re not giving the people the value for their money if guys are bowling three overs in a whole hour and call that cricket,” he added. “People pay good money for spots and you’re going to come down here and bowl slow because you don’t want to lose. That’s not cricket.”

Bay also made recommendations in the letter they sent to the ECCA which include starting games at 9am, eliminating the tea interval, penalising teams who fail to bowl their allotted overs and removing the cut-off time of 7.20pm.

The club also called for the resignation of ECCA president Steven Douglas if the association refused to budge on their proposals.

More recently, Bay has raised concerns over the allotment of viewing plots for spectators.

It is an issue Outerbridge hopes to negotiate with the ECCA ahead of this summer’s series, which his club are scheduled to host at Sea Breeze Oval.

“I spoke to the president of the Eastern Counties from a Baileys Bay point of view,” he said. “We are a host club but really don’t have any options as far as anything for our members.

“So I put in a request that we want to be able to get our allotment of spots and they have a special day where they can come and get their spots.

“That’s a big issue for Eastern Counties supporters and members, so those are things we have to sit down and negotiate.”

When contacted, Douglas said: “Mr Outerbridge called me to inform me that he is the new president of Bailey’s Bay.

“I thanked him and wished him all of the best in his new venture and the other things we talked about we said we would deal with it when the time is right.”

Holders St David’s will begin their title defence against Flatts in the first round on July 17. That will be followed by matches involving Cleveland and hosts Bay in the second round and final on August 14 and 28.

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Published March 03, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 02, 2021 at 9:33 pm)

Bay pushing hard for rules in Eastern Counties to be revised

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