The Oval is Middlesex's home ground    Getty Images (Representational Image)
The Oval is Middlesex’s home ground Getty Images (Representational Image)

Londres: Middlesex failed on Tuesday in their appeal against a two-point penalty for slow over rates, which means they will be relegated just a year after winning the county championship. The club, who play at Lord’s, were docked the points during their match against Surrey in August — a game that was abandoned when a crossbow bolt was fired into The Oval. They were subsequently relegated by a single point after losing their final match of the season to Somerset.

The Cricket Discipline Commission, which operates at arm’s length from the England and Wales Cricket Board, said it had upheld the points deduction, with chairman Tim O’Gorman adding that the rules are clear. “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,” he said.

“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.”

Middlesex grudgingly accepted the decision.

“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,” said their chief executive Richard Goatley in a statement.”

“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 1st Division at the earliest opportunity.”