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Captain calls for consistency after Will disciplined

Club captain Adam Dellar has called for ‘a bit of consistency’ from this season’s Two Counties Championship umpires after Will Bailey was slapped with a Level One offence.

Haverhill Cricket Club has now seen three of its players handed Level One offences in the past year – with Anthony Phillips and Tom Bonham also being punished – but Dellar is confident there are no discipline concerns among the team.

Haverhill v Braintree - Will Bailey bowls for Haverhill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (2378525)
Haverhill v Braintree - Will Bailey bowls for Haverhill.Pic - Richard Marsham. (2378525)

Bailey was sanctioned for use of foul language during his side's home win against Braintree on Saturday.

He said: “It’s a shame really as it was quite a minor offence.

“There are a lot of new discipline rules this season from the ECB (English and Wales Cricket Board), particularly with the use of foul language.

“And Will is a passionate player, one who can be quite vocal at times, but never maliciously – and never at anyone.

“So if that’s the way the game is being umpired, that’s fine. But there has to be a bit of consistency to those decisions."

Dellar said the side had experienced inconsistency in the umpiring this season, with some letting incidents pass while others were quick to punish.

"Everyone was very surprised when Will was disciplined, including Braintree's captain," he said.

“Already this season I have heard worse language and probably more aggressively used as well.

"But the new guidelines state that use of foul language is an offence if it could be heard by spectators so I can't really say I disagree or think it wasn't deserved, just that there's an inconsistency in the decisions around Level One offences.

"And, to be honest, it did seem a little over the top as there was nothing malicious about it, he was swearing at himself."

He conceded that learning umpires' specific irritants was part of the sport and learning which umpires would be more tolerant of overspilling frustration and foul language, but felt his side had received more scrutiny so far.

"We've had a touch of bad luck with umpires I think," he said. "We are not worse than any other side in the championship.

"At the end of the day though, this is definitely a learning curve for Will – and all of us – about keeping that passion and frustration in check. He needs to be careful it doesn't happen again.

"I understand as well that there are more and more families and young children attending cricket matches and we don't want bad language to creep in ­­– we want the game, and the club, to be family-friendly."

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