Sussex skipper suspended, key duo dropped and points deducted after incidents in win over Leicestershire
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The points deduction leaves promotion no more than a remote possibility as it sees them slip from third to fifth and leaves them 30 points off the final promotion spot with only two games to go.
The club have now received four fixed penalties in one season, in accordance with the ECB's Professional Conduct Regulations. And the ECB said a 12-point deduction was an automatic penalty for a fourth fixed penalty in one season.
The ECB said: “By virtue of receiving two additional fixed penalties in the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Leicestershire on 13 September (the final day of the game), Sussex CCC has now met the threshold of four fixed penalties in one season, having previously received two fixed penalties in the LV County Championship earlier in the season.
"Regulation 4.30 of the Professional Conduct Regulations sets out that it shall be a separate offence for the captain where the same individual captained the team in all of the matches in which the fixed penalties were received, and that the captain will receive an automatic suspension of one match from that competition.
"Sussex CCC have confirmed that they and Cheteshwar Pujara are not appealing any of the decisions and Cheteshwar Pujara will miss their next LV= Insurance County Championship game, scheduled to start against Derbyshire on 19 September.”
Sussex have also axed Tom Haines and Jack Carson for the squad to face Derbyshire this week for their part in the problems that occurred against Leicestershire on the final day of a match that Sussex won in a dramatic last session.
Sussex said: “Captain Cheteshwar Pujara is suspended for one game following the announcement from the ECB earlier today, because of the sanctions imposed relating to disciplinary issues during the Leicestershire fixture.
“Tom Haines and Jack Carson have been made unavailable for selection by Head Coach Paul Farbrace due to their conduct in the previous game.”
Farbrace said: “We have made Jack and Tom unavailable for selection for this game at Derbyshire. Following the umpires and match referee’s decision to charge both players with on field level one and level two offences, we needed to take a stance, and show them we will not condone such behaviours.
“Ultimately it has cost us the availability of Cheteshwar and we have been deducted 12 points. We have also decided it is not appropriate for Ari Karvelas to be made available for selection until the investigation that is in place has been concluded.
“This provides other players in our squad with a great opportunity to show they can perform at this level, and more importantly contribute towards the team challenging to win matches in the County Championship.
“It is a great shame that these incidents have tarnished what was a fantastic game against Leicestershire, and all the hard work that has gone into the season. I am disappointed for our fantastic members and supporters and can assure them we will be working hard to make sure we are not in this position again.”
Haines and Carson both issued statements on the matter via Sussex’s website.
Carson said: “In the heat of the battle during the previous match against Leicestershire my desperation to compete and ultimately win the game resulted in me crossing the line in what is deemed acceptable within the spirit of cricket.
“I would like to apologise to my teammates and to all our Sussex supporters for my actions during the game. I plan to learn from the experience and conduct myself in the correct manner without losing my fierce determination to compete in all fixtures while representing the Club.”
Haines said: “In light of the recent game against Leicestershire, I’d like to apologise to all Sussex supporters for overstepping the mark with regards to discipline on the field. It came out of pure passion to compete and help the team win the game. This is something I will learn from and channel better in future games for Sussex.”