It was a damp ending to our Royal London qualification hopes, the only ball bowled today proving to be the ECB curveball that imposed a two-point penalty on the club. This for Mattie McKiernan's bat being deemed too wide in the game against Hampshire, having failed a bat gauge test.
Now, I get that bats have to be a certain size and if the offending blade exceeded it, then fair enough. But an IMMEDIATE two-point penalty? A tad draconian, is it not? If Mattie had gone out with a bat the width of the wickets I could have understood it. If he had denied it all, the same. Rules are rules, but surely penalties have to be commensurate with the scale of the offence?
Would a warning and a suspended penalty not made more sense? After all, in docking two points you are bracketing the club with Leicestershire and Durham, who received a similar penalty for multiple behavioural/disciplinary offences on the field. It isn't really on the same scale, is it?
To be clear, the player didn't win the game with a swashbuckling century, he scored seventeen runs. The penalty is akin, as one observer put it, 'to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut'.
Once again the ECB are found wanting when it comes to dealing with those who play the game.
It leaves a sour taste. And also sets a precedent, as you can bet your bottom dollar that I and many others will be watching to see if other counties are treated the same for similar breaches in the future.
Anyway, time for home tomorrow, after a washout and a defeat in my two 'live' games. Such is life, but I will be in my armchair on Sunday for the match against the Yorkies, dead game or not.
In closing, thank you so much to those who came to say hello over the two games. It is always lovely to put a face to blog contributors and I was able to do that in a few cases over the two days.
It really was a pleasure, so thank you all, whether with two legs or four!