A Brisbane Premier club accused of acting against the spirit of cricket after using a competition loophole to their advantage will consider appealing sanctions imposed on them today by Queensland Cricket.
After intentionally conceding a first-innings defeat in a bid to manipulate the team they would play in this weekend's semi-finals, Northern Suburbs were today penalised for what Queensland Cricket's Premier Cricket Committee (PCC) labelled an act "detrimental" to the spirit of the game.
The PCC not only voided the result of last weekend’s match against the University of Queensland, they also banned Norths captain James McPherson for the duration of the upcoming finals series, docked the club 12 points for next season's two-day competition and withdrew their right to host a semi-final or a final next summer.
It is understood Norths will hold a players’ meeting tonight to decide whether or not to appeal the punishments. The club declined to comment.
SCORECARD: University of Queensland v Northern Suburbs
Northern Suburbs conceived their controversial ploy last Saturday after UQ, who only needed a draw to guarantee a top-two spot and a home final, batted for a mammoth 173 overs on their home ground WEP Harris Oval and only declared in the final session of the game on 9-675.
The two-day match was certain to end in a draw, a result that would have seen both teams awarded five points to set up a re-match at the same venue in a 2nd v 3rd semi-final.
Rather than letting the match peter out to a stalemate and facing UQ again the following week, Norths declared after just four overs on 1-14 to hand UQ a first-innings victory, worth 12 points. Following on, Norths were 1-36 in their second innings when the match ended.
The result sent UQ to the top of the ladder ahead of Western Suburbs, meaning Norths had instead set up a semi-final against Wests.
But UQ, along with the other finalists Valley and Wests, all lodged protests.
Queensland Cricket announced on Thursday that although UQ's win would count, they would only be awarded five points, meaning they will face Norths this weekend after all.
Norths received zero points, meaning they finished in third spot.
A QC spokesperson also confirmed McPherson had been suspended for the semi-final and the final, should Norths make it.
The top four (after QC's sanctions were imposed):
"The spirit in which we play the game should be safeguarded at all times and this is a timely reminder for all of us," Queensland Cricket chief executive Max Walters said.
As it stands, top-placed Western Suburbs will host Valley CC at Graceville in the 1st v 4th semi-final, with the season decider to be held at Allan Border Field over two weekends, starting on Saturday March 23.