Wrenthorpe CC relegated from Premier Division after fielding ‘ineligible’ player
Wrenthorpe have been relegated from the Premier Division of the Bradford Cricket League following a huge deduction in points.
The club was deducted 164 points for fielding an ineligible player in a number of games in 2021 and will now play their cricket in Division One next year.
A statement on the Bradford League website said: “Following a league investigation, it has been determined that Wrenthorpe played an ineligible player in eight of their Premier League matches in the 2021 season.
“This has resulted in them losing all 84 points they earned from those fixtures plus being penalised a further 80 points – 10 for every occasion they played the ineligible player. It means a total reduction of 164 points.
“Under League Rule 18a their opponents are awarded the full 20 points in each of those fixtures. It means that four teams will have their points totals increased in the final league table.
“Those receiving points will be Batley (17), Cleckheaton (16), Bradford & Bingley (12) and Hanging Heaton (1).
“This means that the bottom three positions are Batley (163), Morley (159) and Wrenthorpe (2), which means Morley and Wrenthorpe will be relegated to Division One.”
In a subsequent development, the ECB have removed Wrenthorpe’s Clubmark status as they failed to achieve compliance when registering for the new Safe Hands management system.
This means they are unable to play in an ECB Premier League until re-accredited.
In a statement issued on behalf of Wrenthorpe CC, chairman Paul Marshall has accepted the club’s fate.
He said: “I am sorry to report that due to an infraction of the rules pertinent to the BPL rules 2021, Wrenthorpe Cricket Club first XI have incurred a retrospective points deduction for the 2021 season. Very sadly this means that the first XI have been relegated from the BPL and will be playing in the Championship in the 2022 season.
“Obviously this has come as a great shock to us all, especially given the recruitment of players had already begun in earnest.
“The situation won’t be changing and, although very raw, I have accepted this and have started planning for the future of the club.
“I would like to say sorry to all those that have been affected by this and also to say thank you to the management board for the way in which all of this has been handled.
“I continue to be impressed by the support of my fellow committee members, the existing playing group and the wider cricket community – all of whom have taken the news in good grace as we drive to move the club forward.”
The statement continued: “As a club we are all in this together and we will use this as a platform to come back stronger.
“Please continue to offer your support where appropriate and I look forward to updating you on the next stages of our journey in due course.
“Better days are ahead of us.”