Hampshire County was penalized by a Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) Panel for not adhering to the board’s pitch rules. The Ageas Bowl pitch used for the County Championship game versus Essex between July 25 and 27 was judged “Below Average” by the Match Referee, and the CDC upheld the ECB’s complaint. Hampshire will instantly lose three points from their 2023 County Championship score in accordance with the penalties.
Along with the 20-point deduction for the 2024 County Championship season, suspended until the final day of that season, the CDC has also levied a fine of GBP 5000. If the club violates the pitch regulations in connection with the County Championship on or before that date, those suspended points will be removed.
Hampshire was charged in accordance with Pitch Regulation 8.1, which mandates that each County actively endeavor to create the highest caliber cricket pitch possible for the game it is hosting. Jamie Porter’s five-wicket haul helped the visitors in this match against Essex bowl Hampshire out for 120 in the first innings before they were dismissed for 169. The game’s batting was still challenging as Hampshire only managed 131 in the second innings before Essex secured a six-wicket victory.
This is not the first time that breaking the pitch rules has resulted in points being deducted. Due to the pandemic, Somerset’s 12-point punishment for creating a “poor pitch” in the title-deciding match in 2019 was postponed to the 2021 season.
The parties will have 14 days to file any appeals following the CDC Panel’s timely release of a fully justifiable conclusion. With 140 points, Hampshire is presently ranked third in Division One behind Surrey (183) and Essex (166).