Cricket club in crisis: Rossington hit back at ban

Rossington's Team: (Back l-r) Andrew Gardiner, Dominic McGough (Captain), Roy Nelson, Liam Flynn, Joel Evans, James Fonesaca, (Front l-r) Tom Green, Ashley Knowles, Jack Eusman, Alex Roland, Scott Wood. Picture: Andrew Roe

Rossington's Team: (Back l-r) Andrew Gardiner, Dominic McGough (Captain), Roy Nelson, Liam Flynn, Joel Evans, James Fonesaca, (Front l-r) Tom Green, Ashley Knowles, Jack Eusman, Alex Roland, Scott Wood. Picture: Andrew Roe

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ROSSINGTON Main Cricket Club have accused the South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League of failing to give them a fair hearing in the row over Twitter.

Main were slapped with a two-year ban from all SYSCL competitions until the end of the 2013 season this week after the league committee’s decision to throw Rossington out of the league was upheld at an appeal hearing.

The decision follows allegations that a group of Rossington’s cricketers abused league chairman Terry Bentham and other league officials on Twitter.

But, in a statement, Rossington say they are “very disappointed” at the outcome of the appeal and have accused the SYSCL of failing to follow their own league rules.

The Free Press understands that, as a result of the ban, Rossington officials now fear for the future of the club - with several players set to leave in order to play senior cricket elsewhere.

Main had been serving a probationary period for previous misdemeanors, including bringing the game into disrepute at a league dinner last year.

But the club have accused the league of unfairly dredging up those previous misdemeanors in an appeal hearing about the Twitter controversy.

The club statement said: “Rossington Main Cricket Club (RMCC) consider that the disciplinary process followed by SYSCL was not in accordance with their own League Rules and also the Disciplinary Codes and Procedures of the YCB and ECB Regulations and Procedures.

“RMCC recognise that whilst some individual club members have brought the club into disrepute through their involvement in recent Twitter activity, the SYSCL decision is both incorrect and unfair.

“On the basis of [RMCC’s expulsion from the league] RMCC lodged an appeal maintaining that the Twitter exchanges were a non RMCC matter.

“RMCC subsequently have obtained legal advice supporting this view.

“Two days before the Appeal Hearing RMCC were presented with a schedule of additional documents by SYSCL incorporating past disciplinary issues for which the club and individuals had already served punishment.

“In addition, matters were raised that the club had not been served notice of.

“These items were introduced to proceedings after the submission of the initial expulsion notice and Rossington’s subsequent appeal.”

Rossington have raised the matter with the England and Wales Cricket Board.