League President calls for end to players' bad discipline David Jones - Saturday 6th August 2005
Umpires have been quick to raise their finger about it this season. This week, the President of the Liverpool Competition condemned it too. The subject: Discipline - or lack of it by players.
Liverpool CC was the venue last Friday for the latest Disciplinary Committee meeting when league officials met to discuss further misdemeanours on the field of play.
Ken Jones feels that the number of incidents during matches is becoming a cause for concern and feels that clubs and players must take responsibility to stamp out the bad behaviour.
"Discipline has not been good this season and there has been a lot of pressure on the Committee to sort it out," said the President.
"Players just have to shut up on the field and behave themselves. There has got to be discipline - that's the number one priority. Umpires are our priority, too. We can't afford to lose any more."
The league's Committee, he said, had been stretched this season because of the demands made on it, particularly on the disciplinary side.
Jones admitted: "We do need more people helping. Clubs have to realise they have to put people forward to ease the burdens. We have got to spread the load more." Generally, he feels that the legitimate action on the pitch has been good, but there may be issues to tackle in the future.
"There seems to be a higher standard of cricket and the professionals are raising that standard," he acknowledged, adding: "There has been talk of poaching of players, but you can't stop the back handers.
"The question of finding that money for professionals is very hard for a lot of clubs," Jones agreed. "But it's up to the clubs to state they are not happy with things. Any major changes are very much up to the clubs. They have a lobby and debate at the annual meeting. We are merely there to manage the league."
And he added: "We have a lot of talented cricketers in the Competition and it is good to see so many of them achieving."
(first published in the Liverpool Echo on Saturday 30th July 2005)