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Yorkshire kicked out of Twenty20 Cup

Yorkshire have been kicked out of the Twenty20 Cup after fielding an ineligible player in a group game against Nottinghamshire.

Azeem Rafiq, 17, played in the crucial group match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge which Yorkshire won to qualify for the knock out stages ahead of Nottinghamshire but was not registered and did not have a British passport.

Yorkshire’s Quarter Final game at the Riverside against Durham was postponed an hour before play was due to commence after the ECB found out Rafiq was not registered to play first class cricket for Yorkshire.

An ECB discipline commission panel met at Old Trafford headed by former Northamptonshire chairman Simon Schanschieff, also on the panel were Judge Edward Slinger and James Pickup QC.

Yorkshire were represented by chairman Colin Graves, president Robin Smith and chief executive Stewart Regan who has already shouldered the blame for not registering Rafiq.

After a two hear meeting the ECB announced that Yorkshire would be kicked out of the Twenty20 Cup and replaced by Nottingham who would now play Durham in the Quarter Finals at Chester Le Street.

In a statement, the ECB said: "In coming to their decision the panel took the view that this was a serious breach of the regulations and could not be passed over as a clerical error.

"In reaching their decision the panel accepted there was no deliberate flouting of the regulations, but all counties are aware of the need to ensure compliance with them.

"The panel find that Yorkshire were aware, no later than early 2007, that there were questions as to Rafiq's status and were, therefore, put on notice to check his eligibility.

"This was not done even though on 27 June 2008 the player was making his debut."

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