It’s now full steam ahead for Mildenhall Cricket Club’s promotion push after they avoided a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player.
A meeting of the management sub-committee of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship took place on Monday to decide Mildenhall’s fate after Luke Youngs appeared in two games earlier this season, having already played for Bexhill in the Sussex Premier League.
The Wamil Way-based outfit were spared a hefty points deduction after the decision was made not to hand out any punishment.
And now Mildenhall captain Ben Shepperson has his sights set on the Division One title and a promotion play-off at the end of the season.
“It was the decision that we wanted and we expected it to go in our favour,” he said.
“In our opinion we didn’t do a lot wrong, if anything at all, and we’ve tried to remain positive. Now it’s out and there’s no points deduction and we’ll be doing all we can do to play in the (Gibbs Denley East Anglian) Premier League next season.”
Ahead of hosting mid-table Braintree on Saturday (1pm), Mildenhall and Wivenhoe share the lead at the top of Division One with both sides locked on 203 points each.
A points deduction would have sent Shepperson’s side down to sixth in the table, with the 40 points accrued from the two games Youngs played in back in June, as well as a further 16 points for the rule breach, likely to have been deducted, but a statement on the Two Counties Championship website confirmed there would be no penalty.
The statement read: ‘The purpose of Rule 13a is to prevent clubs from bringing in ‘ringers’ in order to either achieve promotion or avoid relegation especially late in the season.
‘The matters we had to consider involved players returning from university or work placements to their home clubs.
‘In both cases the players had already played for other clubs this season in a Premier League feeder system and therefore needed permission from the Two Counties Championship before they could resume playing for their home club.
‘This was not obtained by one club and although they had breached Rule 13a the management sub-committee took the view that it was a technical breach as had permission been sought it would have been granted.
‘In the circumstances the management sub-committee took the view that it would be inappropriate to implement the deduction of points.’