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Willow Cuts captain Kwasi James banned from Somerset Cricket Club

Willow Cuts captain Kwasi James is serving a one-year ban imposed by Somerset Cricket Club (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Willow Cuts will be without the services of captain Kwasi James for their home matches at Somerset Cricket Club until next summer.

The Bermuda all-rounder has been served with a one-year ban by Somerset, prohibiting him from entering the grounds until August 26, 2023, which effectively rules him out of challenging for a place in the Cup Match team until 2024.

James, who last played Cup Match in 2019, received the sanction for his involvement in a confrontation with a member of the Somerset management committee that is understood not to involved cricket.

“Kwasi has been banned for a year, which came into effect last Friday [August 26],” a Cuts spokesman told The Royal Gazette.

“He didn’t know until yesterday [Sunday] when we received a call advising he has been banned from Somerset’s ground. He had to leave, which left us short and Deunte Darrell and Ras Solomon Burrows both captained the team.”

Confirming the reason for the ban, the Cuts spokesman added: “It was a personal confrontation between someone on management and Kwasi. It was a personal matter and had nothing to do with cricket.”

It is alleged that the Somerset committee member involved in the confrontation has also been dealt with by the club.

Vashun Blanchette, the Somerset president, did not respond to a request for comment yesterday while the Bermuda Cricket Board distanced itself from the matter entirely and declined to comment.

Willow Cuts have not ruled out launching an appeal. “We are looking into it because he can’t play any home games next year, which puts us in a hard spot,” the club spokesman added.

The ban is the latest setback this season for Cuts, who were relegated from the Premier 50 overs league this summer.

James has been in sparkling form with the bat in recent weeks, having smashed a career-best 159 in a 123-run loss to champions Southampton Rangers in the Western Counties final at Southampton Oval on August 20.

Meanwhile, the BCB also would not budge when queried for an update on the status of Torleair Caines and the already suspended Jerez Eve.

Warwick all-rounder Caines received a two-game ban by his club for spitting at an opposing player in an Athene T20 Premier Division match at PHC Field on August 21.

The incident, which involved Southampton batter Dion Stovell, happened towards the end of the first over bowled by Caines, as Rangers began the second innings.

Caines was asked to leave the field by the Warwick captain Cory Burgess and umpire Alex Knight, leaving Warwick to play the rest of the game with ten men.

Cal Blankendal, the executive director of the BCB, said last week that the governing body would look into the incident to see if it warrants further disciplinary action.

However, with the board in possession of the umpires’ report for a week and with Caines set to reappear from his club-imposed ban on Sunday, it remains unclear if the matter has progressed.

Blankendal declining to comment when contacted yesterday.

He also declined to comment on whether Eve will be eligible to resume playing this weekend.

The Somerset wicketkeeper was banned from all cricket for five matches for breach of the Code of Conduct.

Eve hotly disputed a leg-before decision in the Premier Division 50 Overs League match against Bailey’s Bay at Sea Breeze Oval on July 17 and continued his remonstrations from the changing room.

He is eligible to return on Saturday, as per the original communication from the BCB.

However, the board refused to clarify whether Somerset’s forfeiture of their final 50 overs league match, against champions St David’s at Lord’s on August 8, would count as one of the five.

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Published August 30, 2022 at 7:51 am (Updated August 31, 2022 at 7:50 am)

Willow Cuts captain Kwasi James banned from Somerset Cricket Club

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