Lancashire have been deducted six points in this year’s LV= County Championship by the Cricket Discipline Commission panel.
The club, who are not in action in this week’s round of games, remain third in this year’s Division One title race, but are now 35 points adrift of the leaders Hampshire, and 30 back from Surrey, whom they face in the final round.
In a statement, Lancashire acknowledged the CDC’s independence from the ECB in disciplinary matters, and that they have no right of appeal. However, the club also put on record its dissatisfaction with the sanction, which has effectually ended their outside hopes of challenging for the title.
“Following all our hard work throughout the winter and in the County Championship this season, to be deducted points for what are, in our opinion, minor indiscretions is gut-wrenching,” Mark Chilton, the director of cricket, told the club website.
Lancashire were handed a maximum 12-point suspended punishment in November 2021 after an accumulation of fixed penalties for pitch and/or equipment damage during the preceding 12 months, and Chilton recognised that that had been a factor in the punishment.
“With our suspended sentence from previous indiscretions, we knew the position we were in at the start of the season, addressed this as a group and set our expectations of one another,” he added.
“In our opinion, both fixed penalties we received were unduly harsh punishments, which could have gone either way, and it is this inconsistency in the decision-making that makes this difficult to take.”
This year’s “minimum level one offences” were committed by Dane Vilas, against Warwickshire in June, and Luke Wells against Northamptonshire in July, and in a subsequent Twitter post, Wells apologised for the outbursts that had played a part in the punishment.
“I’m gutted that I was implicated in this after hitting my bat on the ground after being bowled last year v Glamorgan at Cardiff and shouting in frustration whilst inside the changing room at Northants,” Wells wrote. “Apologies to Lancs fans and of course the lads who’ve scrapped so hard for every single point we’ve got this year.”