Contenders lose title and suspended from Victoria Park Cricket League

League and cup holders suspended after six teams complain about their behaviour

Victoria Park Community Cricket League champions Contenders have had their title revoked and are suspended from the league next season after complaints about their behaviour from rival teams.

It had been an extremely successful season for Contenders who had also won the league’s cup competition and although that victory has not been affected, their title now belongs to the previous second-placed team East London Community after no less than six teams made complaints.

The league posted the decision online and said the following: Contenders’ final number of points league points for 2010 are halved and that they are suspended from the league for one year.

This is in response to the unprecedented number of complaints from various teams against Contenders including: intimidation of umpires, players and supporters, brandishing of bats at the opposition to intimate impending violence, non-batsmen aggressively entering the field of play and interrupting proceedings, knocking stumps over upon dismissal.

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The decision of the league has shocked Contenders captain Layton Worghs who denies all the allegations.

“At no time do I feel we over-stepped the mark. I am furious that we cannot appeal and that we could not defend ourselves in the meeting. I am very disappointed with the way it has been dealt with. We were not even warned about our behaviour,” he said.

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“We are passionate. At no time have we been aggressive to the opposition. We have just been encouraging each other.

“It’s extremely harsh to take the league away and to ban us for one year is unbelievable. The team has been in the league for three years and not once when we weren’t successful did anyone complain about us. It just so happens that when we are winning matches people have complained.”

The league have defended their decision and chairman Rizwan Siddiqui is adamant they won’t back down.

“We needed to send a strong message out that this is no way to behave in our league,” he said.

“We gave them verbal warnings and told them they had crossed the line. We didn’t feel we had send written warnings because you don’t need to be told how to play the game. It’s a shame because they are talented cricketers and we want good players in the league but not if they are to behave the way they do.

“We had evidence from various sources and members of the committee and even if they were present, we had enough evidence to come to the decision that we have.

“We would like to have an appeals procedure but we just can’t. It’s a volunteer committee and people have lives outside of the league and we would not have time to allow appeals. Members have to trust us.”

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