Call for change

QUEANBEYAN Cricket president Peter Solway says the club will “move on” after its final appeal into last month’s Konica Minolta Cup loss to Albury Wodonga was dismissed.

But Solway is hopeful the club’s unsuccessful appeal will spur a re-writing on the competition rule book in a bid to remove any ambiguity relating to the controversial player eligibility requirement.

Albury Wodonga defeated Queanbeyan in the semi-finals of the regional Twenty20 competition on January 19.

Queanbeyan however, filed an official protest into the result on the basis that Albury had fielded two ineligible players in the match.

Queanbeyan’s protest was based on rule 7.10 of the ACT Grade Cricket handbook which, among other stipulations, states players must have played at least one T20 match during the regular season to be finals eligible.

But despite finding Albury had breached that particular requirement, last Friday’s independent tribunal upheld the original match result.

The tribunal found that Albury’s selections were valid

on the basis that rule 7.10 also allows: “changes [in match day personnel]…to be made within the spirit of the game”. 

The tribunal hearing followed on from the ACT Grade Cricket Committee’s unanimous decision to dismiss Queanbeyan’s original protest into the result last month.

Queanbeyan did receive some vindication, however, after the tribunal overturned that ruling.

The Grade Cricket Committee’s finding, that Albury Wodonga was not bound by the competition’s eligibility requirement at all, was dismissed.

The tribunal nonetheless rejected Queanbeyan’s appeal on different grounds.

While disappointed with the finding, Solway said the club was content it had received a fair hearing and was ready to leave the matter to rest.

“Obviously we still believe [those players were ineligible] or we wouldn’t have appealed to the independent tribunal but we’re happy to accept its decision,” he said.

“We had a fair hearing so we’ll move on in the hope that there will be a better set of rules in place next season.”

Solway also said the club was satisfied with the tribunal’s recommendation of a rewrite of the ACT Grade Cricket Handbook to better clarify the requirements relating to player eligibility.

That would involve the eight clubs that make up the Canberra Grade Cricket Committee hammering out a new set of tournament guidelines to be in place for next season.

That could have major implications for Albury Wodonga which has maintained its players should be bound by its association’s own eligibility requirements, not those of ACT Cricket.

“Basically the clubs are going to have to get together to revise the rules, particularly rule 7.10 to remove any ambiguity in relation to the eligibility requirements,” Solway said.

“Queanbeyan’s view will be that the rule as currently spelled out [that players must play during the regular season to be eligible for the finals] is satisfactory and should be the same for every club moving forward.” 

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