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Yorkshire set to appeal cup expulsion

Yorkshire were today set to appeal against the decision to kick them out of the Twenty20 Cup.

An ECB hearing at Old Trafford yesterday expelled Yorkshire from the competition after they were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player in the winner-takes-all final group tie at Nottinghamshire.

Yorkshire have also been fined 1,000 the cost of the hearing and unless they win an appeal, Notts will now take their place against Durham in a re-arranged quarter-final.

Durham are also considering an appeal, claiming they should have been handed a bye into the semi-finals.

Yorkshire's last-eight clash with Durham at the Riverside was called off at the last minute on Monday with spectators in the ground and players ready to start after doubts over spinner Azeem Rafiq's eligibility began to emerge.

Rafiq played in the nine wicket win over Notts, despite not being registered to play first team cricket.

It has since emerged that the Pakistan-born 17-year-old does not hold a British passport, despite having played for England in the under-15, 16 and 17 age groups.

Shocked Yorkshire chief executive Stewart Regan claimed the county should have been given another chance.

He said: "We're very disappointed. We felt we provided a good case.

"We felt there was a number of arguments which could have helped us get at least a chance to replay the Notts match, if not go through and play Durham again. Unfortunately, that wasn't to be.

"We are going to discuss it this morning as a board and we are going to decide whether to lodge an appeal."

Regan said a decision would be made before 5pm today and an appeal was "highly likely". That would be held in Taunton on Monday afternoon.

He added: "At this stage there's nothing more we can say that would progress our case. We'd rather not comment any further until the appeal's been heard."

Yorkshire skipper Darren Gough is in little doubt that an appeal will be made.

"I'm distraught to be honest. I've spoken to a few players and we're all very disappointed about the decision," Gough said. "I'd put money on Yorkshire appealing."

Durham have also failed to rule out seeking compensation after having their quarter-final against Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street called off when the mix-up came to light on Monday.

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