Somerset's 12-point deduction for 'poor' pitch delayed until 2021

Somerset and England spinner Jack Leach took five of the 21 wickets that fell in the 148 overs bowled in the rain-affected match at Taunton
Somerset and England spinner Jack Leach took five of the 21 wickets that fell in the 148 overs bowled in the rain-affected match at Taunton

Somerset's 12-point deduction for preparing a "poor" pitch for last season's County Championship decider with Essex will be delayed until 2021.

A November hearing found the wicket had "excessive unevenness of bounce" and Somerset were given a 24-point penalty, with 12 suspended for two years.

The penalty will not apply during the Bob Willis Trophy and will be delayed until the next Championship season.

Somerset did not contest the variation of the sanctions, the ECB said.

"The suspended 12-point element remains in place for the next County Championship, again expected to be in 2021, and the subsequent County Championship (expected to be in 2022)," the statement added.

The rain-affected Division One game against Essex ended in a draw, which ensured the visitors secured the 2019 Championship title.

The one-off Bob Willis Trophy, a separate first-class competition, begins on Saturday with the County Championship postponed for 2020 because of the shortened season, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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