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Hindsight is Twenty20

Kevin Howells | 14:31 UK time, Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The clock is ticking and Twenty20 finals day at the Rose Bowl is threatened with being turned into a farce. Semi-finals can only be played between four teams and not four plus whoever else feels it unfair that Yorkshire fielded a player they shouldn't have done against Nottinghamshire on 27 June.

Those who are responsible for the error must feel bad enough over this so let them be. Those who travelled to watch the match may not feel so generous and, as long as they have never made a mistake in their working life, they have every right to be annoyed.

I was of the opinion, and stress was, that whilst accepting the issue was a simple error Yorkshire should be thrown out of the Cup. That is a view shared by Durham. They plan to appeal if any option other than to award them a bye straight to the finals day is reached.

It is an understandable position. Play the quarter-final match and they could lose. I imagine they've invested a lot into the signings of Albie Morkel and Shaun Pollock for example. They've missed out on a big pay day at Lord's in the Friends Provident Trophy so now perhaps whatever money they would make on a second go at a home quarter-final tie is nothing compared with what stands to be made by progressing in the competition.

It's a fair question to ponder. If not for the cash potentially up for grabs in the international Champions League this would not be the talking point it is.

The problem for captain Dale Benkenstein and his team is travelling from Uxbridge on the evening of Sunday 20 July to play the quarter-final at the Riverside on the Monday. Durham certainly would be at a disadvantage.

A solution perhaps would be to play the game in the south on Monday 21 July and share the money with the host ground and club. Durham's next fixture is on the Wednesday at home to Somerset. Middlesex have come to an arrangement with Surrey to use the Oval for their quarter-final. Why can't something like wise happen here?

Andrew Gale, Yorkshire; Chris Read, Nottinghamshire

However the quarter-final must take place and it should be played against either Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire. The precedent is set. I can see little to differentiate this from the NatWest Trophy match of 2000 when Worcestershire were ordered to replay Gloucestershire after a 19 year old, Kabir Ali, played for Worcestershire when he was cup-tied. Gloucestershire went on to win the game and the trophy.

I fail to see how the issue of why Azeem Rafiq was allowed to play for and captain the England under 15's and 16's should have any bearing on the Twenty20 Cup. It's amazing it happened and needs dealing with and explaining, but at another time.

Also the young man in question must be given the fullest support over this. It appears he's an innocent victim in it all.

So come on, ECB, get it sorted. Bring the meeting forward from Thursday. You don't need all these people in the same room at the same time.

Yorkshire should be fined, and heavily, and give the money to Durham. Order a replay with Nottinghamshire on Friday 18 July and play the quarter-final on Monday 21 July. Yes, Durham are right to feel badly done by but remember: Think only of yourselves at this time and you might find it's you on the wrong side one day. I wonder if Yorkshire are now wishing they hadn't made such a fuss over the flood issue involving Worcestershire and Kent last summer.

Let us also consider the risk Yorkshire would take playing two more matches and not eventually making the finals. The costs involved on top of a fine and disappointing crowds for the Twenty20 Cup could make life hard.

You can be sure every county will detail a member of staff today to make sure every registration of every player, especially those not English-qualified, is water tight.

Final thoughts on why it was left so late to call the game off: Well, it should have all come to light before last night in an ideal world. Even if it hadn't done so until a minute before the match, anyone with such information had to raise it to maintain the integrity of the competition.


  • Comment number 1.

    I don't think all has yet been revealed as Yorks say they told the ECB during the weekend.We still do not know how it was found out.
    I feel for all the spectators who had their time wasted.
    Couldn't it have been settled then by a retrospective registration?The ECB must have some discretion to use.
    Even as a Lancastrian I think the match should have been played anyway.It is not as if the guy involved had any real impact on the previous match.

  • Comment number 2.

    The problems with playing the quarter final on 21 July on a neutral ground are:

    1. Durham will hardly be coming to the game refreshed;

    2. Durham will lose the home advantage that they should have gained by finishing top of their group;

    3. It is possible that some of their players who were available last night will not be aavailable on the 21st.

    I'm not a Durham fan, I hasten to add, but the fact is that they were ready, willing and able to play the game last night, and have not broken any of the rules for this season's competition. The reason the game didn't happen last night is because Yorkshire had broken the rules.

    For the ECB to move Durham's quarter-final at such late notice to a neutral venue and a different date, and all because a different team broke the rules, would be to punish them without them being at any fault.

    Also, how many Durham fans would be able to travel to a venue in the South?

    As you say, there are no easy answers. But it seems strange that Durham of all teams might be the one to lose out.

  • Comment number 3.

    Good article Kevin and I agree with most of this. However, it is nothing short of preposterous that Durham should be made to play away from home. There would be no atmosphere; all the fans who turned up for the farce last night would be excluded from watching and Durham would be placed at a disadvantage, not only on a foreign wicket but without two of their most influential players in Pollock and Morkel.

    How can that be a fair compromise for an utterly innocent party in this?

  • Comment number 4.

    Agree mostly with what your saying but play the quarter final down South? And who would fit the bill for all of Durham's fans travel arrangements? And what would have been the point of topping the group if it doesn't bring the home advantage it should have done?

  • Comment number 5.

    //Couldn't it have been settled then by a retrospective registration?The ECB must have some discretion to use.//

    Not really. For there to be a retrospective registration, there would also have to be a retrospective de-registration of Rana Naved. The problems of retrospective de-registration are obvious: you can't play a player then retrospectively de-register him.

  • Comment number 6.

    Lets not forget that he only played the game because ECB prevented Michael Vaughan from playing. Yorkshire man with rose tinted specks

  • Comment number 7.

    I know about the Worcs-Glos precedent, but in this case there isn't time to replay the Notts-Yorks game. Therefore (and I say this as a Yorkshire fan) I think that game should be awarded to Notts, and that they should play Durham TOMORROW (Wednesday 9th). This avoids all the arguments over fixture congestion, and penalising Durham through the non-availability of Pollock and Morkel. But it does need the ECB to get their finger out and make a decision - quickly!

  • Comment number 8.

    Re : playing in the South. I was there last night, will not be at Uxbridge. Have you any idea how much it costs to go to London, prat?
    So supporters don't matter in your book?

    I assume the powers that be will make a rational decision that does not penalise Durham NOR their supporters.

  • Comment number 9.

    In my opinion the game should have been played last night without the unregistered player.

    If Durham had won then they could have gone onto the finals day and nobody would have known any different.

    The paying spectators would have all gone home happy.

    If they had lost then Yorksire should have been allowed to continue in the competition.

    If all of the Kolpak players are allowed to play then surely it wouldn't cause too much of a problem to allow the ex- Engalnd U16 captain to play a game (albeit unregistered) in the group stages.

    I feel sorry for the public who gave up their time and money only to be told that the game was postponed.

  • Comment number 10.

    I totally agree with the article and as a Yorkshire fan, i think a punishment is needed but to hand Durham a bye in to the next round is ridiculous and unfair on the other quarter finalists that are having to play to get to the semis. The only real option as far as i can see is to either

    A) Fine Yorkshire and reply the Nottinghamshire tie


    B) Fine Yorkshire and change the result of the tie and let Nottinghamshire play Durham.

    I just hope someone at the ECB meeting can see that Yorkshire haven't attempted to cheat and that this error should have been picked up by them earlier and then let common sense prevail

  • Comment number 11.

    While it's not strictly relevent in the form filling world we live in, does no-one else find it ironinc that Yorkshire break the rules by giving a young (probably) English player a run out, while Durham are complaining about Morkel and Pollock potentially not being available to line up alongside Di Venuto and Benkenstein?

  • Comment number 12.

    Seeing as ECB are unwilling and/or unable to hold the meeting earlier than Thursday to allow something like AReaderAndAMiller's suggestion to happen, I don't really see any other option than for Durham to have a bye through to finals day.

    The reasons as to why playing the game in south would unfairly punish Durham have been outlined above so I wont bother repeating them other than to say your comparison with Middlesex using the Oval is unfair. Oval is considerably cheaper and more convenient for Middlesex supporters than say Uxbridge would be for Durham. Or someone else has said, don't the fans matter? Also Durham have a county championship which finishes the day before the pro40 game at Uxbridge, unlike Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire which also puts them at a disadvantage.

    One final point to the person who noted the irony Durham are complaining about Morkel and Pollock potentially not being available to line up alongside Di Venuto and Benkenstein. They'd also not be able to line up alongside Mustard, Harmison and Plunkett (Onions injured, Collingwood unavailable ) .

  • Comment number 13.

    Whilst I see your point Kevin, why should Durham be put at ANOTHER disadvantage yet again by playing it at a ground down south?

    Last nights fixture at Chelmsford just went to show what a home crowd can do for a team. The commentators spoke at great lengths about how the players shrug off the advantage of a home crowd, but in reality it makes a very big difference. Also why should the Durham fans, who perhaps have already forked out for tickets be then forced to travel south just to see their team play.

    It just isn't an option.

    I have no problem with Yorkshire being fined heavily and with Durham receiving a fair whack of that money, not just for inconvenience, but the fact that they have lost 2 key members of their squad due to their cockup. I'm not sure what Notts what have to say on that however....

  • Comment number 14.

    Great 'solution' that- making Durham play a QF away from home down south. Very fair. If it was southern county no-one would suggest that they come up to the Riverside

  • Comment number 15.

    Yorkshire to get kicked out of the tournament, it was there fault not the players and therfore should pay the price in cricketing terms and in the bank balance. They could of earnt alot of money from this tournament but were nto lazy to check there paper work,

  • Comment number 16.

    As someone who turned up to the ground last night the fact that the decision was left so late is what irks me most. Even an hour before would have saved many people alot of time, effort and many expletives.

    Yes, Yorkshire made a mistake but isn't it also ironic that when there is so much talk about Kolpak players taking the places of potential England players on the county scene that any tom, dick or harry can captain our junior teams and no-one bothers to check.

    For the record I am a Yorkshire fan but Durham can't be punished for something that they had absolutely no control over.

  • Comment number 17.


    Sorry that wasn't meant to be a pop at Durham, there are much worse offenders. It's just that we are crying out to get young England players into first class cricket, which Yorkshire have been at the forefront of and it's a former England schoolboy captain who is the root of this problem.

  • Comment number 18.

    Azeem shouldn't be ineligible. What passport he has should be irrelevant. He has spent half his life in England and wants to play for England. The England cricket team is not chosen by the Home Office.

    I hope to see him in the England team in five years time taking wickets.

  • Comment number 19.

    Kent fan here so I have no axe to grind, but I have to say your blog is utterly moronic. Making Durham fans travel to Uxbridge? And comparing that to Middlesex fans crossing the river to get to the oval? You must be paid a bonus on the amount of emails you generate.

    If the decision hadnt been made by the afternoon of the match, then Yorkshire should have been allowed to play, but without the unregistered player. You cant have fans travelling to matches that are at risk of cancellation.

    If the decision had been made before then, Yorks should have been thrown out. And I cant see why that did not happen. Yorks have broekn the rules, end of. Out they go. Notts to play Durham this week.

    Whether he is a star player or not is irrelevant. Rules are rules. Balck and white. If you start arguments like "it wouldnt have changed the Notts result" then you are in trouble because the rules will be open to interpretation and everyone will be going to court to get the result that is right for them.

    Yorks have shown their ineptness by not filling out their mandatory forms correctly, and heads should roll. ECB show their ineptness in not coming to the obvious decisions in good time. And heads should roll there too.

  • Comment number 20.

    I've already said a fair bit about this in the forums, but my wife made a great point over dinner tonight that I would like to relay. We've both worked in benefits in the past, and there the test of "britishness" is whether a person has access to public funds. If Rafiq and his family have been given indefinate leave to remain in Britain then, if they were not working, they would have the same access to the welfare state as anyone born in Britain. In other words, if they were not supporting themselves the British government would support them. Surely this is a much better test of Britishness than how long they've lived here or what colour passport someone has! If this standard was applied as a test of whether someone was on overseas player or not, I suspect that a number of good players born overseas who are currently excluded (like Rafiq) would get in, while the majority of Kolpacers would be back to the realms of Overseas players.

    p.s. to whoever mentioned de-registering Rana Naved - he didn't play in the Notts match, so what's that got to do with anything?!?

  • Comment number 21.

    Does this sound like a mockery? Yorkshire criticised for playing an English qualified young man who has captained England under 15s versus Durham who have shipped in two South Africans purely for the 20/20 cup at the expense of English qualified players who might otherwise have played. The whole thing is laughable.

  • Comment number 22.

    Just a quick note to say that if Yorkshire get kicked out without the Notts result being changed then Durham will play Glamorgan not Notts. Also, i agree that an away fixture is a brainless idea.

  • Comment number 23.

    An away fixture is a ludicrous idea. Why not play the game in Durham on the Tesday. that gives the Durham time to travel back from their away game on the Sunday, and they are playing at home on the Wednesday anyway.

    Durham should not be given a bye. They have to play a quater to qualify as they have not been wronged on the cricket field (unlike Notts), just in the wallet. And remember this is still supposed to be a sporting competition (although the Durham board are undoubtedly think about the money they earn on finals day, and getting their moneys worth out of their 2 SA players). Yorkshire should be made to compensate them for any loss of TICKET REVENUE. The issue about players is irrelevant - what if it had rained for two days? What if the players who come in for them produce match winning performances?

    I'd like to see the ECB avoid this particular tactic of buying in Twenty20 specialists by saying that counties can only sign two overseas players per SEASON, rather than allowing any county to select two internationals for just a month or so. The current system is offering SA players to spend a couple of months getting used to English conditions in county cricket before playing test matches here. We don't send our test players to the subcontinent for two months before we play matches out there, do we?

    As a Yorkshire fan, I echo what was said previously - fine Yorkshire then either reverse the decision of the Notts game (essentially Yorkshire forfiet that match) or replay it. There is precedent for the second route. Knowing the ECB if scheduling is difficult they'll take the easy option and go for the first, or leave it at just a fine.

  • Comment number 24.

    Firstly, I'll out myself as being a Durham fan.

    And I agree with you Rich that Durham shouldn't receive a bye, like you say, we haven't been wronged on the cricket pitch, however I do disagree on the point about our SA players.

    We have been put at a severe disadvantage because of this farce, and not only should we seek compensation for the loss of ticket revenue, but also for the fact that our 2 overseas players aren't available anymore.

    People can argue all they want about the issue of playing South Africans, but the point is irrelevant. We're not breaking any rules, and we're renowned as a county who support local talent, and have in the past few years produced a lot of talent for the England team e.g. Harmison, Collingwood, Mustard, Onions, Plunkett, and just for that run out Garry Pratt.

    My solution would be:

    Fine Yorkshire HEAVILY, with the money going to compensate Durham for ticket revenue, loss of overseas players and the added bad publicity.

    Yorkshire will then replay their game with Notts, with the winner then playing Durham at the Riverside.

  • Comment number 25.

    Whatever is or is not decided tomorrow one thing is 100% clear and that is that Yorkshire cannot take any further part in the competition.

    They have broken a rule. They have highly paid professionals to run thier club and they are not a special case.

    At Glamorgan we had a Sunday afternoon T2 game against Worcester that was rained off. Just after it was called off we had the most beautiful evening weather and some people could not undersatnd why the game could not be played later.

    The fact is that there are rules and regulations. That game had a 2 hour 45 minute slot with a one hour back up for rain and if it could not be played in that time the points were shared. Rightly so - rules are rules.

    You cant half adhere to the rules and regulations. This is a black and white situation.

    Yorkshire have no case at all. Durham should either go staright through or play Notts - even Glam have a better case than Yorkshire.

  • Comment number 26.

    The recident is WRONG.

    In almost every other sport an issue like this leads to the original game being reversed, Notts win, therefor Notts should play Durham in the Qtr Final. It should be in Durham and should have taken place already if the ECB got their fingers out.

    The fans who bought tickets should be offered either a ticket to the new match or a refund (thier choice) with all refund paid for by Yorkshire instead of a fine.

    This is the fairest solution for everyone.

  • Comment number 27.

    I practised as an immigration lawyer in this country and I am frustrated by certain aspects of the Rafique debate. Rafique did not require a British Passport in order to be eligible for registration. A British passport is merely a travel document - it does not confer citizenship. What he required was British Citizenship. It may be that Rafique has an objection to acquiring British Citizenship - there are hundreds of thousands of permanent residents in this country who do not apply for British Citizenship for various reasons, some of which may be based on matters of principle. The ICC regulations allow a player to represent a country after he/she has been resident in that country for 4 years. However, the ECB has the ADDITIONAL requirement of British or Irish Citizenship - why the ECB has this additional requirement is mystifying. In order to acquire British Citizenship a player such as Rafique has to have spent periods in the country totalling 5 years which may take 6 years or more depending on the time they spend outside of the UK on holiday etc.
    To conclude, Rafique requires British Citizenship. Having obtained it, he need NEVER apply for a British Passport. Even the Shadow Minister for Home Affasirs seems to think that a British passport confers citizenship - no wonder confusion reigns!

  • Comment number 28.

    I'm a Kent fan, so somewhat neutral. Re the precedent set by the Worcs and Glos game - it's not quite the same, Kabir Ali was cup-tied rather than unregistered. Even so, the decision to allow a rematch then was interesting and we now seem to be reaping the "rewards" of that decision. I tend to agree with the comment that if he has a permit to live and work here permanently then he should be classed as English and retrospectively allowed to play. However, if that isn't possible then Yorkshire must be thrown out with the final group match being awarded to Notts, who should then play Durham at the Riverside.

    Some other thoughts. I don't think there was any danger of Rafeeq playing in the quarter final, indeed the rumours were that Rana Naved might play. The decision to postpone the q-f was purely related to issues with the final group game and nothing to do with the q-f itself.

    Durham are making a lot of the fact that they've lost the services of Pollock and Morkel. I don't know about what Morkel is doing now, but surely the BBC could release Pollock from his commentating duties for one day to allow him to play? It's not as if he's left the country.

    And finally, where do Glamorgan get off suggesting that they should get a second chance? The two points from the Notts v Yorks match have to go somewhere and wherever they go it will mean Glamorgan are out. I think there's almost a case for charging Glamorgan with bringing the game into disrepute!

  • Comment number 29.

    "as long as they have never made a mistake in their working life". Really? I think if I made a "mistake" that meant a few thousand of my employer's customers wasted an afternoon of their lives then a P45 may follow. But people who watch Cricket don't matter do they, not when there's all that money at stake.......

  • Comment number 30.

    Re my post 29. The mistake that should be punished is postponing the game at such short notice. (Just to clarify).

  • Comment number 31.

    Ever heard of "The spirit of the law" and "the letter of the law"... Yorkshire played a player who is on their staff and has been all season whereas where have Pollock and Morkel been? Get some perspective.

  • Comment number 32.

    Post 20, by scaryjim:

    //p.s. to whoever mentioned de-registering Rana Naved - he didn't play in the Notts match, so what's that got to do with anything?!?//

    It was Martyn Moxon who mentioned it:

    "According to a disconsolate Martyn Moxon, the Yorkshire coach.....'The problem then was that the player is not qualified as an English cricketer, so if Yorkshire had applied for registration, they would have had to de-register Rana Naved to be able to play Azeem Rafiq in the game against Nottinghamshire'"

  • Comment number 33.

    As a Durham fan who sat in the showers on Monday watching the train wreck unfold and totally in the dark as to what was going on I can't see how Kevin Howell can suggest a neutral venue. Why should the Durham fans be denied the chance to support their team? Why should the Durham side be denied their home support?

    With the biazarre early start to satisfy Sky's need to broadcast two matches in the evening many had to take a day/half day off work to be there and they got nothing for supporting their team.

    I just hope that someone thinks of the fans in this and if a match has to be played it's at the Riverside with a sensible start time. If Durham are eventually 'lucky' enough to make it to the Rose Bowl there is little time left to make travel/accomodation arrangements. We can't all just pop in our cars to the Rosebowl for the day and the prospects for chartered trains like we did for Lords last year seem zero.

  • Comment number 34.

    Someone mentioned that in other sports the outcome would be to replay the Notts v Yorks game. Incorrect. In football the result is usually allowed to stand, but the offending team gets fined (points and/or money). In this case Glamorgan should then face Durham in the quarter final.

    If Yorks had played a team with no chance of qualifying in the final game, what would happen then, replay that match? What incentive would there be for the other team out side of the T20 'season'.

    I know this seems unfair on Notts, who have played one 'legal' game less than Glamorgan, but it's what I've always been used to - sometimes in sport teams lose out and benefit through random events.

    PS. I am an Essex fan, and don't give a monkey's who we thrash at the Rosebowl!!

  • Comment number 35.

    But in other sports (including cricket at local levels) such offences are normally noticed immediately and the match can be organised on the correct date not shoe horned into an already busy schedule.

  • Comment number 36.

    I dont think the ECB decision is straightfoward - remember Michael Vaughan was going to play in this match, instad of Rafiq.

    Also, his impact on the Notts game was minimal. He bowled 2 overs for 18, no wickets, did not take a catch and did not bat.

    He has also played 2 2ndXI games since the notts game, 8 second XI games in total this year.

    Given that he is very young, obviously aspires to play for England in the future - surely this is better than playing a Kolpak or overseas?

  • Comment number 37.

    Oh by the way, don't forget it's a long way from Durham/Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire to the Rose Bowl so the longer this is delayed the more difficult and more expensive it is for fans from up here to make it to see the finals.

  • Comment number 38.

    Durham have currently 10 days out of the available 13 between now and the 21st where we have scheduled matches

    Fri 11th-Mon 14th Home (4)

    Wed 16th-Sat 19th Away (4)

    Sun 20th Away (1)

    Wed 23rd Home (1)

    So given that 22nd-25th is Yorks vs Notts in the LVCC

    Effectively we would have to postpone the Middlesex match on the 20th to be able to fit the match in on the 21st, and Notts vs Yorks would have to be replayed 17-19th.

    If the ECB can postpone the Middlesex Pro40 then as we gain Shiv Chanderpaul for the loss of Morkel we would only be playing the QF penalised by the loss of one player. Not ideal but given the TV money and ticket receipts will figure at least as large as the best outcome for the paying public I think the game will be played.

  • Comment number 39.

    Should the decision be to replay the game with Yorkshire v Notts and this game is rained off, does this mean that Yorkshire will go through as they will still finish above notts in the table, even though the original game was not canceeled due to bad weather.

    This would not seem fair under the circumstances.

  • Comment number 40.

    Yorks should be kicked out of the competition straight away. We i.e. Durham should go through to the semi-final, never mind this allowing Notts to replay Yorks or allowing Glamorgan back into the competition, the only solution is Durham into the semis.

  • Comment number 41.

    What ludicrous comments by the article. The laws and rules are there for all, so obey them. They may be wrong but that is a debate for a different day and before the start of the next 20/20 tournament; you can't change the rules of the competition midway.
    If Yorkshire get to replay against Notts then they should consider themselves very fortunate. Wasn't the player ineligible for that game too?
    It seems a simple decision but I fell the ECB will order the replay rather than show strength and disqualify Yorkshire.
    As for the comment that the player didn't make an impact in the Notts game so let him play!!! All players have bad games, even the best.

  • Comment number 42.

    I don't know what the ECB will do. Yorkshire did break the rules, but many neutrals would want to see the game played, with the best teams reaching the final.

    I understand Durham in wanting a bye, but still, I think it would be better for the game if it was replayed, at Durham. They don;t deserve to lose theirhome advantage.

    One result that should definitely NOT happen, which is Notts being allowed abck into the cup. The facts are that they lost more games than they one in the group, missed out by three clear points, and just weren't good enough this year to deserve a place.

    Personally, I think the match should have been played, with a decision made afterwards - if Durham had won, nobody would have realised there was a problem.

    Also, who was it who filed the complaint?

  • Comment number 43.

    How many unregistered players have fielded as substitutes in this competition?

    Would the opposition (Notts) have objected at the time to a very young player (agreed he had been England u-15 captain) being included in the Yorks side instead of the England senior captain?

    Who made the last minute complaint? They have much to answer - why not before?

    To do well in all our UK cricket competitions seems to depend on how good your club is at the admin in signing Aussies, South Africans, and subcontinental international stars - no brownie points for integrating young ethnic promising players already playing junior cricket here.

    It's time cricket realised it is in the entertainment industry. The show should go on.

  • Comment number 44.

    Contrary to comment number 28 -Bramemic.

    If this was to have happened in football Yorskhire would have been docked points, and no match would have to be replayed.

    This would put Glamorgan in the Quarter Finals

  • Comment number 45.

    I thought that the ECB new there was an ineligible player at least 3 days before the Durham - Yorks none match.

    Yorkshire should forfeit the game, and so should Durham because they have suggested that they should get a bye into the final - this is hardly sportsman like for the other quarter finalist.

  • Comment number 46.

    if what noblejamessutherland says is true - and I'd rather trust an immigration lawyer on this than *any* cricket official, it's possible Azeem has British citizenship and the original idea of retrospective registration could have gone ahead.

    Also - I thought the qualification rules applied to first-class cricket - is 20/20 really considered first-class?

    I'd be more sympathetic to Durham if they hadn't sold tickets to people turning up, when they knew at 2:45 the game was cancelled. The least punishment for that should be to lose their home advantage if the qf is rearranged, as they appear not to want to deal with fans responsibly - or maybe they should be thrown out of the competition and we can all look forward to Notts v Glamorgan

  • Comment number 47.

    Crickets the big loser here. The administration by all clubs involved and the ECB has let everybody down. Yorkshire should be kicked out and replaced by the next qualifer. The Mackems should feel ashamed at suggesting they have the divine right to progress with a bye who are they the Man Utd of cricket. The ECB has yet again proved its incompetance with the timing of everything. Its making the game into a joke. Its laughable to think someone has been england under 15 captain yet is not able to play domestic 20/20 cricket.

  • Comment number 48.

    The match should have been played on Monday night. The players and supporters were ready to have a match. Yorkshire could have been dealt with afterwards irrespective of the result.

  • Comment number 49.

    The ECB and Yorks share the blame. It should not have taken so long to discover the error. Why fill in paperwork if no-one checks it in a timely manner? Durham praying for a bye is daft and greedy. The Yorks fine should recompense them anyway after 90% is taken out for the ECB officials' expenses of course...
    At least the outcome is correct: Durham v Notts for a place in the South-East group... Yorkshire appealing is tosh too. Neither of these two Northern sides are coming out of this with enhanced reputations. Durham should complain? They will fill their ground for a three hour game that's a sure sell-out now even if it wasn't on that rainy night. I was watching those empty seats on TV too. Time for everyone to forget their lawyers and get on with it. This is by default the premier competiton this year, whether purists like that or not.

  • Comment number 50.

    So many people feel Durham should not have been given a bye because they should win a game to reach the semis and not be put through? Isn't this what has been done for Notts? they were comprehensively beaten by Yorkshire yet progress to the next round, is this fair?
    As for Durham playing the Q/F in the south , why should they, their fans have been inconvenienced as it is a Monday fixture at Uxbridge would be almost impossible to attend.
    !3/12/2008 and we still don't know when this game will be played? well done E.C.B.


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