Secretary defends decision to play again

PHILIP August, secretary of the Minor Counties Knock-Out Trophy, has defended the decision to allow Cheshire and Devon to re-stage their semi-final.The winners will play Suffolk at Lord's on Monday August 27 with the game now set to be played later this month.

By Elvin King

PHILIP August, secretary of the Minor Counties Knock-Out Trophy, has defended the decision to allow Cheshire and Devon to re-stage their semi-final.

The winners will play Suffolk at Lord's on Monday August 27 with the game now set to be played later this month.

Suffolk beat Oxfordshire by three wickets on the original date for the semi-finals - July 1.


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But wet weather meant that no play was possible last Sunday - or the Monday rain-off day - at Chester.

Regulations indicate that a bowl-out should be staged if no play is possible, and Suffolk and Oxford expected to take part in this lottery if their match had not been completed.

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At one time the Oxford/Suffolk game was called-off because of adverse pitch conditions - and plans were afoot to re-stage on July 15.

This was soon reversed and kit was retrieved from cars for the match to take place starting once the pitch dried at 3pm on Sunday.

August said: “Both Oxford and Suffolk chose to misinterpret the situation. Perhaps it was because they had players in their squad who could not play on the Monday.

“The confusion was entirely theirs.

“There is no way arrangements to re-stage games can be made until after the end of second day. The set process has to be observed.

“Regarding the decision made to re-stage the Cheshire versus Devon match and not have a bowl-out - we would have been damned if we had and damned if we hadn't.

“With still seven weeks to go to the final it was felt it was best to play the game. Suffolk and Oxford would have had the same options.”

The unrest caused is not helped by the fact that the Minor Counties Cricket Association chairman John Pickup hails from Cheshire and secretary Geoff Evans lives in Devon.

Suffolk are at home to Northumberland in a three-day Minor Counties Championship match starting at Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.

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