ECB to meet over Twenty20 farce
The England and Wales Cricket Board's disciplinary commission are set to meet on Thursday after Yorkshire and Durham were left in Twenty20 Cup limbo after the Tykes were alleged to have fielded an ineligible player earlier in the competition.
ECB chief executive David Collier has pencilled in a meeting of the cricket disciplinary commission later this week when Yorkshire's apparent misdemeanour will be addressed.
With thousands of fans already in their seats at the Riverside in anticipation of Monday evening's quarter-final between the counties, it was announced by the ECB that Yorkshire were under investigation for fielding an ineligible player, Azeem Rafiq, in their decisive group match against Nottinghamshire. As a result, the match was immediately postponed and perplexed supporters were left to make their way home.
Collier claimed the incident stemmed from Yorkshire's failure to register Rafiq as a first-class player while - despite the fact the 17-year-old has captained England Under-15s and played at other age groups - there have been questions asked about his British nationality.
"The panel has wide-ranging powers and that can lead into all sorts of areas - whether that be fines, disqualification, replaying the match, it is up to the panel to determine," Collier said.
Rafiq was apparently eligible to play for Yorkshire at every level below the first team.
There appears to be a precedent for the current situation after Gloucestershire and Worcestershire were ordered to replay a match in which the latter had fielded an ineligible player.
Yorkshire's director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon suggested the ECB had been informed of the mix-up within days of the match against Notts in which victory for Yorkshire clinched their place in the last eight of the competition.
But Collier is adamant the matter only came to light when officials at the ECB spotted the error this morning.
"I don't think we could have done any more than what we've been doing," he told Sky Sports 1. "It has been a mad rush. The worst would have been to just ignore it and act as though nothing had happened and let the game go ahead with the knowledge that the game may well have to be replayed."