Stan’s Views – 3rd XI Cancelled Game Against Ramsbottom

Dear members,

Such has been the interest in this matter that I have decided to issue this for information purposes.

These are the facts:-

A recent 3XI fixture between Lowerhouse and Ramsbottom was cancelled.

The Lancs League secretary asked Ramsbottom if they wished to play the fixture in light of the clash with their 2XI who were in a rearranged 2XI cup final at East Lancs on the same day. East Lancs were also asked if they wished to play their 3XI fixture.

Ramsbottom declined to play the 3XI fixture due to players having to move up to the 2XI that day due to team depletions through holidays.

East Lancs played their 3XI fixture and secured 12 points.

Lowerhouse and Ramsbottom were awarded 3 points for a no result

The rules permit the Lancs League executive to manage the fixtures.

If a team fails to fulfil a fixture the league awards 10 points to the opposition.

These are the issues:-

The Lancs League executive are also tasked with ensuring the sanctity of the league and fair competition.

The ethos of the league has been to try to bolster 3XI cricket by ensuring that matches are played and cancellations through the weather are replayed. Clubs in the past have proposed the ending of 1XI replay dates to free up dates for 3XI matches. It is recognised that 3XI cricket is important to the future of Lancs League cricket. This decision bears no relation to that ethos in our opinion.
East Lancs and Lowerhouse were neck and neck at the top of the 3XI league. Deliberately calling one game off and allowing the other game to go ahead provides one team with an unfair advantage . By fulfilling their obligation to play the fixture East Lancs quite rightly deserve their 12 points. This however penalises Lowerhouse. Had East Lancs lost with 0 points then effectively they would have been penalised for playing a game that they could have ducked out of. Either way, it is unsatisfactory.

With all the above in mind this is our stance:-

We have no issue with Ramsbottom or East Lancs who both did what they felt they had to do.

The League Executive should not be inviting matches to be called off in this fashion as it is too easy to say ” yes” particularly if that club has nothing to play for.

The Executive appear not to have considered the following – loss of one of only 13 fixtures that the 3rd XI can play – loss of income from bar and tea room – no opportunity to replay the game – a distortion of the league table – a completely unfair situation for Lowerhouse CC.

Whichever way one looks at it Ramsbottom failed to fulfil a fixture and Lowerhouse should have been awarded 10 points . It doesn’t penalise Ramsbottom or East Lancs but provides balance to the situation. This is within the rules and simply fair.

We took this argument with much emphasis on fair play to to the recent Lancashire League meeting. Our case was simple – namely that we have been unfairly penalised through no fault of our own and that this is remediable by awarding us the customary 10 points.

I presented the case to the meeting in which the Executive declined to move and did not feel that the matter needed to go to a vote from the clubs present . I asked that the club’s disappointment and sadness at this unfair decision was minuted.

I would like to apologise to all our 3XI lads for this failure and can only hope that you do not lose the league title chase because of this.

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