Angus Fraser is Middlesex's Director of Cricket    Getty Images
Angus Fraser is Middlesex’s Director of Cricket Getty Images

Last year s County division one-championship holders, Middlesex were in a rude shock after they were relegated to division two English domestic circuit. Needing a win to survive, Middlesex took on fellow bottom-spooner s Somerset in the last match of the Country 2017 season. They lost the tie by a massive margin of 231 runs and remained a point below Somerset (147).

After the loss, Middlesex s director of cricket, Angus Fraser has accused Somerset of doctoring the pitch to suit their 3-man spin attack. Evening Standard quoted Fraser, who is also a part-time England selector, It s disgraceful what they did. I ve never seen such a doctored pitch. The intent was there, so the combination of a below average pitch and intent, that changes things. There are guidelines for counties to produce the best possible pitch for matches.

Somerset s spinner took 16 of the 20 Middlesex s wickets in the match. Now, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has launched an investigation into the Taunton pitch.

Fraser further lashed out at the two-point penalty handed to Middlesex for slow over-rate in the tie against Surrey that was abandoned due to an arrow-attack.

Speaking to BBC Radio, he said, The pitch and the points deduction, I know they look like excuses but these are reasons for our relegation, even though we haven’t played well enough.

The police abandoned that match and we were told, Don’t worry, you won’t lose your points , but then we found out we had. We ve since made representations (to the ECB) against that (decision), he concluded.