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A Pembrokeshire cricket side say were “hard done by,” at being denied the chance to win a league title by a controversial declaration from their nearest rivals.
Cresselly won their final match against eventual champions Carew in Pembroke County Cricket Club Division One.
Carew declared on 18-1 to deny their opponents bonus points, so Cresselly won the match but not the league title.
Cresselly say Carew’s decision was “at odds with their title of champions.”
“We feel hard done by not being able to play a proper game,” they said.
The decision has become a matter of controversy after Carew find themselves being accused of breaking the so-called ‘spirit of cricket’.
Although Carew’s tactics was within the rules, such a decision is rare and considered by many to have gone against the true spirit of the game.
Former Glamorgan captains Mark Wallace and Steve James are among those to condemn Carew’s decision.
The battle for the Division One title between leaders Carew and second-placed Cresselly was meant to come down to the final match decider.
But Carew seemed to have beforehand worked out the mathematics which would see them lose the match but clinch the title if they denied their opponents bonus points for batting and bowling.
Carew started with a 21 point lead and Cresselly received 20 points for their quick victory.
So after being put into bat, Carew declared on 18-1 after just 15 balls with Cresselly reaching their target in two overs and winning the game, but losing the title by a single point.
What the clubs say
It’s understood Carew are preparing a statement while Cresselly have commented on the situation via a statement.
“We obviously feel hard done by at not being able to play a proper game to determine the winner of Division One,” they said.
“Having beaten Carew in the league and village cup we felt confident we could do it.
“On the toss, our captain elected to field as we felt it was the best way of winning the game with such a tight margin.
“Thinking that Carew would want to beat us the right way and show everyone they are indeed the very best, their choice to declare and deliberately lose was at odds with their title of champions of the county.
“Some people have asked if we think ‘deliberately losing’ is match fixing and if we wanted to go down that road. We will leave that up to Pembroke County Cricket Club to decide.
“We are very disappointed but we want to move on.”
The executive of the Pembroke County Cricket Club – responsible for enforcing the regulations within Pembrokeshire – will meet on Wednesday. Although no regulations have been broken, it’s expected Saturday’s match will be discussed.
County club secretary Steve Blowes has told BBC Wales he is personally disappointed by Carew’s decision even though they have not technically broken any rules.
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