Captain couldn’t believe opponents didn’t know the rules

A MISINTERPRETATION of the rules caused confusion and led to a call to the league’s chairman in the middle of a match.

The incident occurred in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Eight South match between Brantham and West Mersea on June 16, after the visitors were bowled out for 129 in just 35.1 overs – nine full overs short of the maximum allocation of 45.

Brantham captain Roger Chenery said: “We knew we had extra overs to get the runs and were batting accordingly. One of their fielders said to our non-striker that we were going along slowly and he replied that we had West Mersea’s nine unused overs.

“They said that had never happened to them before. The umpires got the rule book out but West Mersea questioned whether we were right as they believed the rule only applied to Division One matches.

“We had to ring Norman Atkins, the league chairman, who clarified that we received all their overs. We were subsequently bowled out (for 100 in 52.5 overs) and lost the match, but I couldn’t believe that they didn’t know the rules – I have never come across that situation before.”

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West Mersea skipper Matt Wilkin said: “We have played in the league for a few years now and this season is the first time this has happened to us.

“We had a similar situation in our first game, against Witham, when we were bowled out in around 40 overs (37.5) overs, but on that occasion they were bowled out (in 44.5 overs) so it didn’t affect the game anyway.

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“The rule book doesn’t make it clear. Several of the rules talk just about Division One games, so we were unsure.”

Chenery, with reference to the recent article in Love Cricket in which Neal Manning raised concerns for the future of club cricket in the area as teams don’t socialise how they used to, continued: “They were okay about it once they got confirmation from Norman Atkins over the telephone, although it was disappointing they didn’t stop for a drink afterwards.”

Chenery, who will be 68 next month, has been with Brantham since 1980 and played with the likes of Trevor Moye, Trevor Stockton, Peter Hudson and Bill Martin in the club’s heyday.

He added: “We would be top of the social league if there was one! We played at West Mersea in the return fixture last weekend (West Mersea won by 46 runs) and we made sure we stayed and had two or three drinks after the game.”

Atkins said all clubs receive a copy of the rules. Part of Rule 15 in the abridged rules printed in the official handbook states: “Any uncompleted overs from the first innings shall be transferred to the second innings.”

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