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A wife's response to a draconian suspension
Mrs Jan Walkden - Wednesday 2nd August 2017

I write in relation to the article dated 28th July 2017 and would like to clarify a few points as regards the situation.

In my opinion it appears from the various narratives that my husband deliberately tried to hide the facts. 

For the record, Ian made it known at the start of the game to the MCUA umpire on the day that the player was 19+ and it was understood that he was not therefore subject to the U19 directive. He was, however, U19 at the start of the season.

The Highfield captain was also aware of the age of the player at the start of play, but only raised the issue after he had finished his spell of bowling.

Ian therefore misunderstood the rules and did not try to mislead anyone!

In fact quite the contrary, and a two week suspension (now reduced to one week) plus the other penalties seems unfair and unreasonable and is not in line with other ECB Premier Leagues who have encountered similar situations.

As an avid cricket follower myself, I now fully understand why we are losing people in the aged bracket 16-24 and also I understand why clubs are unable to attract volunteers if sanctions such as this are handed out.

Ian no longer wishes to be involved in this matter and these views are my own, as a mother to two Newton le Willows cricketers and a wife.

The directive/law/guidelines are allegedly there  to protect young people. The person who bowled more than 7 overs (13), scored 0 on the day and is 19 years old, he hardly had a stretching day!

Contrary to this, my son represented Lancashire U14 boys in Taunton last week (FIVE days), played for Newton le Willows' 1st team last Saturday and was also asked by the Liverpool Competition to captain their league side on the Sunday, thus SEVEN games in SEVEN days (they knew he was in Taunton) - I call this double standards!

Finally, Ian made a mistake in his understanding of the rules but so did others and he is the only one penalised It was a genuine human error and personally I feel this has been taken too far. That said Ian and the club have accepted the situation and they move on but I thought I needed to put some context around the posting. 

Yours 

Mrs Jan Walkden