Hampshire sanctioned with points deduction for ‘below average’ pitch

The Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) Panel fined Hampshire County for breaking the board’s pitch regulations. The CDC upheld the ECB’s complaint because the Ageas Bowl pitch used for the County Championship game against Essex between July 25 and 27 was rated “Below Average” by the Match Referee. A three-point penalty will be taken off Hampshire’s County Championship score in 2023 as a result of the punishment.

The CDC has additionally assessed a fine of GBP 5000 in addition to the 20-point deduction for the 2024 County Championship season, which has been postponed until the final day of that season. The suspended points will be lost if the club breaks the County Championship pitch rules on or before that date.

Each County must make a concerted effort to build the best class cricket pitch possible for the match it is hosting, as per Pitch Regulation 8.1. Hampshire had to answer for his actions under this statute. In this specific match against Essex, Jamie Porter’s five-wicket haul helped the visitors dismiss Hampshire for 169 runs before being dismissed for 120 runs themselves in the first innings. The game’s batting remained challenging as Hampshire only managed 131 in their second innings and Essex triumphed by six wickets.

There have been previous instances of pitch rule violations, and each time, points were deducted. Due to the pandemic, Somerset’s 12-point penalty for a “poor pitch” in the title-deciding match in 2019 was pushed back to the 2021 season.

Following the timely issuance of a fully defended finding by the CDC Panel, the parties will have 14 days to file any appeals. After Surrey (183) and Essex (166), Hampshire currently has the third-highest point total in Division One (140).


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