THE dispute over Queanbeyan’s controversial Konica Minolta Cup Twenty20 semi-final loss to Albury Wodonga earlier this month has descended further into farce.
The ACT Grade Cricket Committee earlier this week unanimously rejected Queanbeyan’s protest into the result, despite finding Albury did field ineligible players for the clash.
In a logic-defying decision however, the committee found the Riverina-based association was not bound by the competition’s clearly defined rules relating to player eligibility.
Rule 7.10 of the ACT Grade Cricket Handbook states for a player to be eligible for the Konica Minolta Cup finals, they must have played at least one Twenty20 match during that season.
There are no exemptions listed.
When contacted by The Queanbeyan Age last week, Cricket Albury Wodonga chairman Michael Erdeljac confirmed the association had fielded six players in its semi-final victory who did not meet that criteria.
Queanbeyan’s protest was nevertheless rejected, with a Cricket ACT spokesperson confirming that “the Cricket ACT grade cricket committee…returned a verdict that the eligibility rule only applied to the eight clubs within the ACT one and two day grade cricket competitions”.
Along with Albury Wodonga, the regional Konica Minolta Cup includes three other sides: Newcastle, South Coast and Wollongong not affiliated with the ACT one-day or two-day competitions.
The ruling appears to indicate the eight ACT based clubs and four inter-state sides competing in the Konica Minolta Cup are doing so under two different sets of rules.
“But the question is, if they’re not bound by the rules set out [in the ACT Grade Cricket Handbook], what rules are they bound by?” Queanbeyan District Cricket Club president Peter Solway questioned in response.
“There aren’t any exemptions there. I would have thought if specific competition rules weren’t applicable to particular teams in the competition, that would have to be spelled out.
“As it is, the whole thing’s a mess. I wouldn’t have a clue which rules are apparently meant to apply to which club.”
A number of questions relating to the ruling are still unanswered including which, if any, of the rules laid out in competition’s rules are applicable to the competing interstate clubs.
Solway confirmed Queanbeyan would fight on and will appeal the committee’s ruling to an independent tribunal which will likely hear the case early next week.
“The important thing now is just to try and get things clarified for next year so every club knows what set of rules we’re all playing under,” he said.
“It was a unanimous decision against us [at the grade cricket committee] so perhaps we’re totally in the wrong, but we’re a bit nonplussed about it all.
“That’s why we’re taking it a step further because at the end of the day, hopefully by going through the whole process we can clear everything up moving forward.”
Cricket ACT chief executive Mark Vergano declined to comment until after the completion of the independent tribunal process.