Middlesex have failed in their bid to overturn a two-point deduction that contributed to their relegation from Specsavers County Championship Division One.
A two-point penalty was applied after Middlesex were penalised for their slow over rate following a game against Surrey which was abandoned after a crossbow bolt was fired on to the field of play.
The England and Wales Cricket Board agreed those exceptional circumstances warranted an appeal – not usually possible for over-rate offences – but the cricket discipline commission has upheld the penalty.
CDC chairman Tim O’Gorman was not persuaded by Middlesex’s submission, which sought to show that the deficit would have been made up had the match been allowed to run its natural length.
He said: “Middlesex have sought to argue that it was only because of the abandonment of the game that they did not make up their overs but that cannot be entirely correct.
“There was no guarantee that, if the game had run its normal course those overs could ever have been made up.
“I do not accept that Middlesex only agreed to the abandonment of the match on condition that their slow over rate in the first innings would be overlooked.
“It is not within the power or gift of either the umpires or the players to make deals like that. The match was abandoned for safety reasons. Play ended accordingly and the points earned or deducted should stand with effect from that time.”
The decision will be welcomed by Somerset, who faced potential relegation in Middlesex’s place after finishing one point above them in the final standings, and had engaged legal counsel on the subject.
Middlesex chief executive Richard Goatley said the county will not take the matter any further, preferring instead to focus their efforts on regaining their Division One place next year.
He said: “Whilst we still believe the imposition of the penalty was unjust, we accept the decision of the chairman of the CDC and will move on.
“We do not believe that any further action is in the interests of Middlesex or the wider game. We will now focus on regaining a place in the First Division at the earliest opportunity.”