THE Leeton District Cricket Association has sensationally suspended two players for 10 weeks each for “bringing the game into disrepute”.
The association held an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday night with board delegates after a weekend of drama that eventually led to the suspension of B grade captains Matt Aliendi from the Yanco 35s and Narrandera’s Dave Kroek.
It came to the board’s attention last weekend the two teams had allegedly colluded to shore up their positions on the ladder ahead of finals.
The situation arose due to the Phantoms A grade two-day forfeit affecting that club’s right to fill a team in B grade in the last round of the competition.
According to the LDCA’s constitution is was then required of the match secretary to conduct an investigation into the matter.
This was done by acting match secretary John Warren, who also consulted with Cricket NSW on the matter.
In the end it was decided to hand down the 10-week suspension, which the players are now appealing.
Warren said both Aliendi and Kroek would be free to play in the first round of finals this weekend while the appeal is pending.
“We’re in the process of finalising an independent tribunal hearing before the weekend … you need three to sit on it and I’ve got two so far,” he said.
“At this stage they are free to play.”
Warren said the penalty had to be severe to deter others from acting in a similar way.
“The investigation found the game was brought into disrepute,” he said.