10:00am Friday 6th September 2013
By Mark Edwards
Banbury captain Jimmy Phillips admits he is “disappointed” at the criticism his club have received from the Cherwell League over last week’s selection.
Banbury opted to play three first-team regulars in their 2nd XI to try and help them in their Cherwell Division 1 relegation battle.
The club checked with the league to ensure they were allowed to do so, and having been told by committee members that they were not breaking any rules, went ahead.
However, the Cherwell League this week released a statement which blasted Banbury for not acting in the spirit of cricket.
“The members of the management committee of the Cherwell Cricket League wish to express their disappointment with Banbury Cricket Club’s selection policy for the matches played in the league on Saturday 31st August,” it read.
“Whilst we feel unable to take punitive action in this case because of the lack of clarity in the wording of our current registration rules, we feel that our intentions regarding the principles of fair play and the Spirit of Cricket are clear.
“In our opinion, the decision by Banbury to strengthen their Cherwell League side, by fielding players who had only previously played Home Counties Premier League matches, deliberately undermines these principles.
“Subsequently, it is likely that the Cherwell League will need to introduce clear and restrictive regulations regarding the movement of players between the Cherwell Lea-gue and other leagues next season.
“It is a regrettable consequence that it will become considerably harder for clubs to move players between their teams if those teams play in other leagues.”
But Phillips said he was slightly taken aback by the comments.
“I find it slightly surprising, to be honest,” he said.
“We contacted the league and they said we could do it. We checked with the chairman and the registration secretary and they didn’t say anything then.”
He added: “Oxford have strengthened their second team before so it’s not the first time it has happened.
“I can understand their point of view, but we have always been a club that tries to support leagues and what they’re doing.
“We have never been a club that leads revolts and controversy, we have always tried to tow the line.
“Had they said to us that the rules allowed you to do it, but didn’t feel that we should, then we might have rethought. But that wasn’t the case.
“I do find it disappointing.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group