Leicestershire have been knocked out of the T20 Blast after being deducted two points for a series of breaches relating to on-field discipline over a two-year period.
Naveen-ul-Haq and Arron Lilley both incurred fixed penalties during Leicestershire’s one-run victory over Northamptonshire at Grace Road on Friday night.
In a statement responding to the Cricket Discipline Commission’s decision, a Leicestershire spokesperson said: “Leicestershire County Cricket Club is devastated by a decision of the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) to impose a two-point deduction, which effectively ends our chances of qualification for the Vitality Blast quarter-final stage.
“Leicestershire has worked tirelessly to improve onfield discipline following two previous hearings in 2021 and did not incur any fixed penalties during the first half of the current season.
“It was therefore requested for the improvement in behaviour to be considered in mitigation, but based on previous stipulations the CDC has decided to apply the sanction immediately, with no right to appeal the decision.”
Naveen’s penalty was incurred automatically on account of bowling two above waist-high full tosses. In addition to instant removal from the attack, the delivery of multiple full tosses above waist height triggers an automatic disciplinary offence in the T20 Blast’s playing conditions. Sussex and England quick Tymal Mills criticised that playing condition in response to the penalty against Naveen.
The other penalty from the Northamptonshire fixture was less controversial. Lilley was singled out for his behaviour following the crucial wicket of Jimmy Neesham late in the run chase. After Neesham was run out, Lilley went out of his way to run over to the New Zealand all-rounder on his route back to the dressing room.
In August 2021, Leicestershire were handed a suspended penalty by the Cricket Discipline Commission after incurring six fixed penalties for breaches for on-field discipline in the space of 12 months. That penalty was to be imposed should Leicestershire receive any further fixed penalties for breaches of on-field discipline in the following 12 months; that penalty would either be 12 County Championship points, two Royal London One-Day Cup points or two T20 Blast points.
At the time, the CDC felt that it was relevant to the decision-making process that Leicestershire had also been “charged with breaches of the same directive in 2015 and 2017.”