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Yorkshire fail in Twenty20 appeal

Yorkshire's hopes of continuing in the Twenty20 Cup have been dashed despite winning their appeal against their expulsion from the tournament.

They were thrown out after fielding the ineligible Pakistan-born Azeem Rafiq in their win against Nottinghamshire.

They have now been given the win but penalised the two points for victory.

Nottinghamshire lose the two points they were awarded, so Glamorgan will now face Durham in the last eight as one of the two best third-placed sides.

They will meet at The Riverside but the date of the match has yet to be confirmed.

The decision to take away Nottinghamshire's points mean they finishing fourth in the North Division, one place below Yorkshire.

Glamorgan and Yorkshire both finish on 10 points but the Welsh county's superior net run rate means they progress to the knockout stages.

Rafiq, a talented off-spinner who has captained England Under-15s and Under-16s, holds a Pakistan passport, which means he was considered to be an overseas player.

Yorkshire had not deregistered Pakistan international Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, which meant Rafiq, who conceded 18 runs off his two overs against Notts, was ineligible to play as counties are only allowed to field one overseas player.

The initial punishment of being thrown out was overturned on appeal but an England and Wales Cricket Board statement read: "Yorkshire claim that the failure to register Azeem Rafiq was the result of a technical oversight.

"They claimed that discretion should be exercised under regulation 2.1 and that the penalties imposed were 'manifestly disproportionate'.

"The facts were not in dispute and the panel accept that Yorkshire did not deliberately flout the registration regulations, that the panel find there was a systematic failing of process."

The statement added: "Given the serious breach of the regulations the panel find it appropriate to deduct the two points received by Yorkshire in the match against Nottinghamshire though the result will stand.

"Yorkshire are also required to pay 2,000 in total towards the costs of both hearings."

The decision to give the win to Yorkshire saw Nottinghamshire slip back to nine points and out of the running for a quarter-final berth.

Nottinghamshire chief executive Derek Brewer said: "We are disappointed but we always said we would abide by the ECB decision. We will move forward."

The quarter-final between Durham and Yorkshire was postponed by the ECB shortly before the game after doubts over Rafiq's eligibility surfaced.

Durham might have been given a bye but will now have to play Glamorgan in an already crowded schedule, with doubts over the availability of Shaun Pollock and Albie Morkel.

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