Cricket Association Upholds Decision, Blackhawks To Protest

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The Liberta Sports Club has labelled a decision by the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) to uphold a decision by match referee, Clancy Mack, to award the Two Day cricket finals to the Empire Cricket Club as emotion and has vowed to appeal the decision.
The association, in a press release issued Wednesday, said Empire Nation was awarded the match based on the report written by the officials when the incident occurred in June.
President of the Liberta Sports Club and former West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, accused the association of making a “sentimental decision and believes the decision will be overturned.
 “After reading what the cricket association wrote, I am convinced that the cricket association does not understand playing conditions they put together and they don’t understand the laws of cricket so we are going to appeal the decision. I have no doubt it will be overturned because there is no way that any one umpire can make a decision like that,” he said.
“It is quite clear that the decision the cricket association made is sentimental and it has nothing to do with the laws of cricket and the regulations that they themselves put together,” he added. 
Recounting the incident which led to the match being called off, Benjamin remains steadfast that his team was well within its rights on the day in question.
“They don’t have any grounds and the only thing they are saying in the letter is that we should have played and then filed a protest after but there is no written procedure in the ABCA playing conditions so we did what we knew and we played by the law. All we said was that we were not bowling to the guy and the umpires were the ones who pulled the stumps. They never called play, they said they were having lunch so as far as we are concerned we are still waiting on the umpires to come a tell us why they pulled the stumps,” he said.
The coach called on the cricket association to explain how they arrived at their decision.
“We can’t see how Liberta forfeits the game when Liberta never refused to play the cricket. When the umpires pulled the stumps Liberta was on the field. We actually went out after lunch because the umpires said they were taking an early lunch and they said when they went back out Liberta was out there so explain to me how we forfeit the game. We want the cricket association to explain to us how we forfeit the game,” Benjamin said.
Reports are that defending champions, PIC Liberta Blackhawks, had argued the legitimacy of allowing one Empire Nation player, Damian Lowenfield, to bat at number three in the order, after the said player had left the match after batting on the previous day (Saturday) because of work commitments.
Blackhawks argued that, in accordance with the laws of the game, Lowenfield was only eligible to bat after five wickets had fallen. Empire were reportedly 77 for three at the time of the dispute.
Blackhawks were ahead on first innings when the incident occurred.

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