Tykes face disciplinary hearing over ineligible player

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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The 17-year-old leggie Azeem Rafiq figured in Yorkshire line-up was not eligible to play first-class cricket as he wasn't registered with ECB.London: Yorkshire will have to travel to Old Trafford, the home of arch-rivals Lancashire, on Thursday for a disciplinary hearing over allegations they fielded an ineligible player in a Twenty20 Cup tie.

Yorkshire's Twenty20 Cup quarter-final away to Durham on Monday was dramatically called off just minutes before the start after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) ruled they'd failed to register Azeem Rafiq as a first-class player for an earlier decisive group match against Nottinghamshire.

Rafiq, 17, has captained England Under-15s - yet there are also question marks against his British nationality.

Yorkshire's director of cricket Martyn Moxon suggested the ECB knew of the issue within days of their June 27 victory against Nottinghamshire when the mix-up occurred.

Rafiq is understood to have been eligible to play for Yorkshire at every level below the first team - but he bowled two overs against Nottinghamshire.

Thursday's hearing, chaired by Judge Edward Slinger, with James Pickup QC and Simon Schanschieff also sitting, will have to decide whether Yorkshire must replay their match against Nottinghamshire - which saw them qualify for the last eight at their opponents' expense, be ejected from the competition or take another course of action.

The ECB said Tuesday a statement would be issued after Thursday's hearing.

Yorkshire's registration error could end up costing the county a chance of winning 2.5 million pounds on offer to the inaugural Champions League winners later this year, in a tournament featuring leading domestic Twenty20 sides from around the world.

The winners and runners-up in the Twenty20 Cup will provide England's representatives in the lucrative tournament.


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