‘Pending arbitration case in premier league’ delays promotion and relegation decisions

File image: Durbanville Cricket Club.

Durbanville Cricket Club’s attempt to belatedly claim points in the 2019-20 Western Province Cricket Association premier league standings is among the reasons teams promoted and relegated for the 2020-21 season haven’t been announced yet.

Victoria Cricket Club were awarded full points after Durbanville Cricket Club were deemed to have fielded an ineligible player in 9 November 2019’s WPCA premier league fixture. Durbanville Cricket Club, however, have formally challenged the decision.

The 2019-20 WPCA club cricket season ended prematurely earlier this month as a preventative measure against the coronavirus pandemic. Durbanville Cricket Club occupied second position in the WPCA premier league’s 12-team standings at the time of the cancellation, while Victoria Cricket Club were 10th.

“We would like to inform clubs on the way forward, particularly around promotion and relegation for the 2019-2020 season. As we all know, the season has been curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic and because of the restrictions, we have been unable to physically meet as cricket and local leagues committees,” read Friday’s email from WPCA club cricket and facilities co-ordinator Lindsay O’ Malley.

“Members of the committee have been traversing the situation around log positions as well as a pending arbitration case in the premier league. The committees have requested more time on the matter. Due to the season being over, it does not denote urgency and therefore clubs will be informed in due time as the committees deal effectively with these matters.”

The outcome of the arbitration might have implications for first-placed Rondebosch Cricket Club, who didn’t necessarily have the lead at a crucial juncture noted by the relevant WPCA by-law.

What the WPCA by-law says about promotion and relegation in ‘abnormal circumstances’

The relevant WPCA by-law states: “The WPCA executive board, in consultation with the WPCA members’ council, may in the event of abnormal circumstances such as a water crisis/drought curtail the season.

“In such an event and provided it is possible to play a single round of matches, promotion and relegation shall be determined by the log standings after the completion of the first round of matches (each team to have played each other team at least once).

“In the event of the commencement of the second round of matches and the season curtails, any second round matches played will not be considered for the purposes of the log positions. To achieve promotion and relegation, provision will be made for all teams who have not completed the first round matches to do so.

“First round matches which have not been completed on the date of curtailment shall be played on a date and at a venue as determined by the WPCA local leagues committee.”

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