Club Statement: Cricket Disciplinary Committee Hearing
Lancashire Cricket acknowledges and respects the decision of the Cricket Disciplinary Committee (CDC) to impose an immediate six-point deduction on the Club in the LV= Insurance County Championship.
The Club also acknowledges the CDC’s independence of the ECB and accepts that the Committee has little room for manoeuvre within its regulations, along with First-Class Counties then having no right of appeal.
However, the Club would like to place on record our dissatisfaction at being awarded an immediate points deduction.
The six-point deduction follows a cumulation of points accrued by Lancashire Cricket, however the Club contends that most points were picked up over a year ago, following which we strengthened our code of conduct and disciplinary process for players.
During the hearing, which took place on Wednesday last week in London, the CDC did acknowledge the strengthening of protocols, and this was cited as a reason for the Club not receiving a full 12-point deduction.
Director of Cricket Performance, Mark Chilton, has commented: “Following all our hard work throughout the winter and in the County Championship this season, to be deducted points for what are, in our opinion, minor discretions is gut wrenching. With our suspended sentence from previous indiscretions, we knew the position we were in at the start of the season, addressed this as a group and set our expectations of one another. Such behavioural standards are important for us, both on and off the field, to ensure we are creating the appropriate environment for high performance to flourish.
“In our opinion, both fixed penalties we received were unduly harsh punishments, which could have gone either way, and it is this inconsistency in the decision making that makes this difficult to take. I would also call on the ECB to include officiating as an important part of the high-performance review. We recognise umpiring is a challenging job and mistakes will happen, but at present there isn’t enough accountability surrounding their decisions and too much subjectivity still exists. The sooner we can provide additional support by way of technology and improved processes, the better.
“As a Club, we take particular exception to penalties being issued immediately, on the field, and think that this is an additional responsibility which umpires don’t need. Everyone would benefit from taking a breath, considering each case away from the heat of the battle, with the match referee then playing a leading role in the decision-making process. This would allow for the umpires to build working relationships with the players, as opposed to being seen as the final judge and jury and the ones that punish, this only creates tension between the two parties.
“Both of our incidents could have been avoided with an ability to review the decisions, and the sooner this is in place, the better. I accept there is significant expense with this, but if we are serious about raising standards, it should be closely looked at. I have no doubt it would make a huge difference and would be welcomed by players and officials alike. The early examples of the new ball tracking data that I have seen could be a game changer and would allow for more effective performance management of officials whilst increasing the percentage of correct decisions.”