Twenty20 Cup: Yorkshire's loss is Glamorgan's gain

Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 1:30 [IST]
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London: Glamorgan were dramatically thrust into the quarter-finals of English cricket's Twenty20 Cup after an appeals panel upheld the decision to expel Yorkshire from this season's tournament following a registration row.

Yorkshire were thrown out of the tournament after fielding ineligible teenager Azeem Rafiq against Nottinghamshire last month.

The Headingley-based county appealed, arguing their punishment was "manifestly disproportionate".

But Monday's England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) appeals panel said that while their win over Nottinghamshire should stand they should be stripped of the points they'd received for victory.

Originally, those points were awarded to Nottinghamshire but the alteration means that Glamorgan will now go through to the last eight as one of the best third-placed teams.

"We've got what we deserved," said Glamorgan chairman Paul Russell, whose side will now play Durham in the quarter-finals.

Rafiq, 17, had not been registered as a first-team player with the ECB by Yorkshire, and it then emerged, despite captaining England at Under-15 level, he did not hold a British passport.

Yorkshire's quarter-final with Durham at Chester-le-Street was called off just minutes before the scheduled start, with thousands of spectators already in the ground, as concerns over Rafiq's eligibility emerged.

In a statement Yorkshire chief executive Stewart Regan, who explained the county would not be taking the matter any further, said: "This is a tragedy for Azeem Rafiq.

"We all know he is just a Yorkshire lad who wants to play cricket. We think there is serious unfairness involved for the player at present and would hope that his application for registration is resolved at the earliest opportunity, ideally at tomorrow's (Tuesday's) ECB board meeting."

Regan added: "The player's Yorkshire and England career is on hold until this is resolved."

This year's Twenty20 Cup has been given added spice by the knowledge that the two finalists will qualify for the inaugural Champions League, featuring the world's leading domestic Twenty20 sides, later this year where five million dollars in prize money is on offer.


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