NCU logo
Northern Cricket Union
Charity Registration Number: NIC 106791

NCU Facebook Page
NCU Facebook Page

Neale Matthews  

[Note: This article was originally sent to the website editor before last week's NCU AGM - apologies to Neale for the inadvertent delay in posting]

As Director of the Domestic Directorate I am aware of suggestions that the penalty imposed on Instonians CC for starring irregularities is indicative that Instonians were seeking to gain advantage from failure to replace starred individuals. The matter has been thoroughly considered, and the modest penalty imposed reflects the views of the competitions committee (and of the Directorate) that Instonians CC, like a number of other clubs who have had starring irregularities highlighted, failed to administratively deal with issues in a timely manner. It is also accepted that Instonians' position was exacerbated by an unprecedented series of injuries and unavailabilities.

Instonians brought an appeal against the decision of the Competitions committee, albeit acknowledging fault on their part, but raising issues in relation to the consistency and application of the rules regarding the starring process, and indeed raising issues regarding the applicability of an "old" starring system to the modern realities of cricket – high numbers of youth players; greater absences due to work commitments/holidays/other sports.

Certainly, I am persuaded that we should look again at a starring system which has become administratively difficult and can result in diminishing the pool of available players in lower teams – a "double" penalty as it were to a club which has already suffered a loss through injury of a starred player.

Instonians informed the NCU that they would not be proceeding with their appeal, accepting their failure to administer in a timely fashion,  however felt they had raised important issues with the NCU which I have agreed should be looked at in greater depth. To that end, a review of the current starring system will be carried out with a view to simplifying the current system; easing the administrative burden; and allowing clubs to have as wide a selection panel as reasonably possible. Clubs will be asked for their views in due course regarding any potential amendments.

Neale Matthews
Director of Domestic Cricket