Somerset 12-point deduction reduced to eight for 2021 County Championship

Last day of Somerset v Essex at Taunton in 2019
Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook (right) guided Essex to a draw on the last day at Taunton in September 2019

Somerset's 12-point deduction for preparing a "poor" pitch for the 2019 County Championship decider with Essex has been reduced to eight for 2021.

A November 2019 hearing originally imposed a 24-point penalty on the county with 12 suspended for two years.

Somerset will now start the group stage of this season's remodelled County Championship on minus eight points.

The rain-affected match at Taunton in September 2019 finished as a draw as Essex pipped Somerset to the title.

Somerset had the previous 12-point deduction rolled over in July from last summer's Bob Willis Trophy to next season.

A Cricket Discipline Committee panel will determine how the suspended 16 points will be applied should they commit any further breach of pitch regulations during the 2021 season.

The revamped 2021 County Championship will feature 10 group-stage matches and four divisional matches for each county rather than the 14-game two-division structure that was in place when the penalty was originally issued.

By coincidence, Somerset faced Essex in the five-day Bob Willis Trophy final in September at Lord's.

Essex again pipped them to the trophy as a first-innings lead was enough to secure them the silverware after the match was drawn.

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