Wisbech want rain rule change

WISBECH Town skipper James Williams is requesting a change in the Cambs Tucker League rules after the game against Khalsa was called off on Friday evening.

Khalsa, who play their games at Castor, failed to cover the wicket on Thursday and an umpire ruled it unfit even though it was a sunny evening the next day.

An angry Williams said: “We will get just five points from the game now and we are being punished for Khalsa’s mistakes. Rules state that wickets should be covered and although it was sunny on Friday evening and Saturday morning the damage had already been done.

“Three times this season we have played at grounds where they have not had the covers on over the wicket on a Friday night and been forced to play on damp wickets and it is not good enough.

“Khalsa face a fine of £50 and having five points deducted but that is hardly a consolation for us. I think the league should award points to the clubs that suffer in these circumstances and I have spoken to the league chairman about this.

“Two years ago we lost out on the league to Camden with games called off and with Khalsa bottom of the table we could have picked up 25 points on Saturday.”

“It is too late for anything to be done this season but hopefully the rule will be brought up at the AGM and things can be put in place for next season.”

Fortunately for Wisbech, league leaders Foxton had their game at Saffron Walden abandoned as well so lost no ground in the table.

Khalsa’s Kirpal Singh said: “There was a midweek game at the ground on Thursday which did not finish until late and the covers were not put on. I can sympathise with Wisbech, but we were also desperate to play as we need points to fight off relegation.”

If it is any consolation to Wisbech it was pouring down with rain in Peterborough on Saturday when the game was due to start and it is very doubtful there would have been any play.

Cambs Tucker League secretary Chris Abbot said: “We are awaiting the umpire’s report before any action is taken. We have already had three similar incidents this season and awarding points has been discussed and I am sure the matter will come up at the annual meeting.”

March skipper Chris Ringham certainly has sympathy for Williams and said: “It does not seem fair that teams suffer when other clubs do not cover their wickets and clubs should be awarded points.”

March were unable to use their covers for their wicket on Saturday as they were already in use on the strip for the three-day county game which was due to start on Sunday.

They cut out a new strip on Saturday morning but the game lasted just four overs with March 21-0 before further rain brought it to a swift end. The club’s second and third team games also fell to the weather.

March fourths did play but lost out to Witcham seconds by five wickets in CCA Junior League Division 4A.

Batting first on the artificial wicket, March got off to an awful start when Toby Nulty went first over without scoring, quickly followed by Dennis Furnell for seven in the fourth. With Daniel Woods going for 13, it was left to skipper Bill Hilliard 11 and vice-captain Manuj Patel 21 to stage a recovery at 25-4.

They put on 41 runs for the fifth wicket, but after their departure, March lost their final five wickets for just four runs finishing on 69 all out.

Witcham, who lost to March by nine wickets earlier in the season, took 28.1 overs to knock off the runs, with Ashley Payne taking 2-12 and veteran Glen Hulley 2-14.

Wisbech seconds and fourths were hit by the weather too but the third team lost to Needingworth by four wickets in CCA Junior 2A.

Wisbech scored 127 for eight after openers Dean Dodman 36 and Shane Sleath 30 had given them a good start. Paul Strickle hit 24.

Lyndon Waters and Ryan van Waterschoot picked up two early wickets but Needingworth then got on top knocking off the runs in 30.5 overs.

Wisbech and March’s Sunday games were all called off.