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London [UK], Nov 19 : English county Somerset has been found guilty of creating a substandard pitch in the County Championship match against Essex and as a result, the side would start the next year’s competition with -12 points.

Somerset had to win the match in contention in order to overtake Essex. The match was a rain-affected one and 21 wickets fell in 148 overs and out of the 21 wickets, 17 were taken by spin bowlers, ESPN Cricinfo reported.

A Cricket Discipline Committee (CDC) panel gave the verdict that the pitch had “excessive unevenness of bounce” and as a result, the pitch was given a ‘poor’ rating under the England Cricket Board’s pitch regulations.

Somerset has accepted the charge that the pitch was correctly rated poor, but have denied that it was not the best quality pitch they could have prepared.

The panel has handed the club a 24-point deduction, though 12 of those have been suspended.

Somerset has been given two weeks to lodge an appeal against the verdict.

“Somerset County Cricket Club await the full report from the Cricket Discipline Commission before considering our next course of action,” the club said in an official statement.


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