Softball Association upholds umpires’ decision in ‘abandoned’ 30 Overs semis

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By Neto Baptiste

The Antigua and Barbuda Softball Cricket Association (ABSCA) has upheld the decision of match officials to award the semifinals of the Caribbean Alliance Insurance 30 Overs League to Bryson’s Shipping & Insurance Bullets.

At the time of the incident, Bullets were 46 for one off 8.2 overs as they chased 98 for victory.

The decision was supported during an executive meeting held on Monday after it was reported that Buckleys 3J’s abandoned the game when they left the field in protest of an umpire’s decision to call a bowler for suspect bowling action.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Softball Association, Leroy John-Baptiste, who was also an umpire on the match, confirmed the executive’s decision.

“The decision to award the game to Bullets was ratified by the executive and we will be having a discussion with the management of the team, Buckleys, and just highlight our concerns with that behaviour. We are also having a general meeting on Thursday in which we will expound on those practices a little bit more,” he said.

Reports indicate that Buckleys left the field in protest after match officials refused to call one Bullets player for illegal action but, in turn, flagged one of their own bowlers for a similar offence.

John-Baptiste said that apart from awarding the match to Bullets, the executive was restricted in terms of what penalties could be applied.

“That’s one of the shortcomings in our rules where it doesn’t really speak to any disciplinary actions, unfortunately, and maybe we, as an executive, have to take some responsibility because we have had a few incidents of this sort of behavior happening in the past, and they have just been dealt with by awarding the game and not any really [further] disciplinary action.

“I think it’s something that the general council will have to look at to see how best we could deal with these sort of issues, if they do repeat themselves in the future,” he said.

Buckleys, in a match reduced to 25 overs, posted 97 all out in 21.2 overs with Rodney Williams hitting 23 and Steve Martin adding 20. Deran Benta picked up three wickets for 37 runs in five overs, Kimani George had two for 12 and Richie Thomas claimed two for 21, all bowling for Bullets.

Bernel Peterson and Benta were on 21 and 14, both not out, when Buckleys left the field.

The finals will be contested on Sunday between Bullets and Wadadli Event Services Old Road in Powells starting at 10 am, while the women’s finals between Wadadli Event Services Female Flyers and Sagicor Life Enforcers will start at 2 pm.

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