Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Durham Plea Is Ignored; Club Must Fit in Quarter-Final

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Durham Plea Is Ignored; Club Must Fit in Quarter-Final

Article excerpt


DURHAM chief executive David Harker left Old Trafford last night having received the news he least wanted: that his side are still no nearer Twenty20 Finals Day than they were last week, writes STUART RAYNER.

Nottinghamshire were handed a reprieve after apparently having been knocked out of this season's Twenty20 Cup by a Yorkshire side featuring Azeem Rafiq. But after it was discovered the 17-year-old from Barnsley had not completed the necessary paperwork to play and did not have a British passport, his county have been thrown out of the competition and Nottinghamshire given their quarter-final place.

Stuck in the middle were Durham, who had been due to play Yorkshire in the last eight until the game was called off.

Harker travelled to Lancashire yesterday arguing that making the Riversiders play again would put them at a disadvantage but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

"I can understand why Yorkshire are angry," said Harker as he left the hearing, "but we're not exactly happy either."

Durham are disappointed on two counts: that they do not have enough space in their fixture list to fit in the game and a reserve day, and because they will be without Twenty20 specialist Albie Morkel for it. The county are likely to spend the night before the match on a bus from the south east to Chester-le-Street, following their County Championship match with Surrey. And Morkel's time as Durham's overseas player has ended, despite their attempts to extend his stay into today's Championship game with Somerset at the Riverside.

"This requirement to rearrange a quarter-final causes us a significant competitive disadvantage if we are not able to field the same team that would have played on Monday but we will be considering our options and looking at when that quarter-final might take place," he said. July 15, 21 and 22 are the only days between now and Finals Day when Durham do not have cricket scheduled, and Nottinghamshire's Championship game against Yorkshire is due to start on the last of those three days.

Monday, July 21 seems the most likely, but Durham will have to do some negotiating for their most experienced oneday player, Shaun Pollock, to play. …

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