Armidale Cricket president Mike Porter blasted Northern Inland Cricket Council for stripping the town’s War Veterans Cup team of their points from their win over Tamworth.
Armidale were deemed to have fielded “ineligible players” in the match as they were selected to play for the region in Coffs Harbour in a re-scheduled clash on the same weekend.
Captain Todd Francis, Jackson Gwynne and Sam Uphill – who ruled himself out of all representative fixtures this season – were selected in the Northern Inland Bolters squad to play in the Plan B Regional Bash in Coffs Harbour.
The Regional Bash match was originally scheduled for October 21 and 22 and postponed to December 2 and 3 – the same weekend as round three of the War Vets and Connolly Cup matches.
Francis and Gwynne received notification less than a week prior to the clash they were selected in the Northern Inland team.
Neither Francis nor Gwynne were informed they were ineligible to turn out for Armidale and were unaware they would be penalised if they played.
“They had very little notice that this weekend was on,” Porter said.
“When Todd, Sam and Jacko were picked to go away, it was a washed out weekend before and they reassigned that weekend to the same weekend as the rep cricket which is just bloody stupid.
“We don't have that many players going round that we can afford to have three blokes going to Coffs Harbour and then put our best team on the park.
“They shouldn't have reassigned it to the same weekend as we had War Veterans and Connolly Cup.
“I know if they are getting picked at a high level they should be going and playing that if they can but they also have to get reasonable notification that they have been selected.”
Porter said it doesn’t provide any encouragement for players to represent their towns.
“We are trying to re-establish that [being proud of playing for their town] – and towns like Gunnedah and Narrabri – but Tamworth just want to dictate what goes on and it just annoys the bloody crap out of me,” he said.
“They bloody dictate everything and we are just trying to do what we can do up here and because we did that they take our points away.
“There's nothing I can do about it at the moment. I am just peeved with it.
“I sent them an email expressing my displeasure with what they want to do because I am on the executive and wasn't consulted about it.
“It is disappointing but we will go on and we will keep working on our own cricket and we will do what we can to play rep cricket in the future.”
The decision puts Armidale out of the running for the War Vets title with a previous wash out and a forfeit against Gunnedah in round one.