Victoria Cricket Club remain relegated despite dispute

Victoria Cricket ClubFile image: Victoria Cricket Club

Victoria Cricket Club’s attempt to avoid relegation – and instead see Bellville Cricket Club demoted – from the Western Province Cricket Association premier league has failed.

Bellville Cricket Club finished in seventh position at the end of the 2015-16 WPCA premier league season, while Victoria Cricket Club came second last – and have therefore been moved down to the first division A.

The Kenywn-based club’s dispute of Bellville CC’s ongoing participation in the WPCA premier league was based on challenging seamer Chris Russell’s eligibility as an overseas player.

A ruling made by the WPCA local leagues committee in March 2016 put Bellville CC in contention for relegation. However, the England-bred Russell was later proven to, indeed, be eligible as a recruit from abroad.

Victoria Cricket Club, however, countered the retraction – and insisted Bellville CC be demoted, which would allow Victoria CC to remain in the WPCA premier league.

Last week, though, saw Victoria CC’s arguably opportunistic plea rejected.

“It’s unfortunate that we had to end up in an arbitration, but ultimately the arbitrator’s decision was sensible and the right one,” attorney Leroy Villet, who represents Bellville Cricket Club, told Club Cricket SA.

Bellville CC’s opening fixture of the 2016-17 WPCA premier league will be against Cape Town Cricket Club on 15 and 22 October. Victoria Cricket Club’s maiden first division A match of the season, meanwhile, will be against the University of Cape Town Cricket Club on the same dates.

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