Controversial scenes in Hampshire League as player gets banned after headbutting umpire on-field
The Hampshire Cricket League in England has 306 teams spread over 20 divisions, with almost 3,500 village cricketers taking to the field every weekend in the summer. The large number of players and teams operating also means that the world's largest cricket league is never short of controversies - in the last couple of days when yet another player has found himself in the spotlight, but not due to any honourable action on the pitch.
Fawley Cricket Club (FCC) and Hythe Cricket Club (FCC) were playing in a competitive fixture on July 7th, when Jason Ford of FCC headbutted the umpire on-field. He was a non-playing Hythe player, who lost his tooth in the process.
Reports suggest that the Hythe player rejected FCC's appeal for LBW, and the unprecedented attack followed shortly afterwards. This also led to play being abandoned at the New Forest Academy, as the police were called in to investigate the matter.
The representatives at the Hampshire Cricket League have since taken disciplinary action against Ford, banning him from playing the next seventeen fixtures of his side, which in turn effectively means that the ban will stretch for up to a whole year.
Hampshire League chairman Denis Emery said the length of the ban meant the cricketer would not be able to play again until July next year. “He had never been in trouble before. If he had he would have received a lifetime ban – and quite rightly so,” said Emery, quotes from Daily Echo.
In the latest statement regarding the situation, issued a few days later by the chairman of Fawley Cricket Club, Chris Tona, he stated: “The individual involved was immediately suspended by the committee pending a full disciplinary meeting.
A police spokesman said no arrests had been made but added: “The investigation is ongoing.”