It was a normal cricketing Saturday, when Abingdon Vale 2's were hosting Horspath 3's, last Saturday, in an early season Cherwell League Division 5 match. Until a tragic accident occurred a few metres away from the Hales Meadow ground. A local man, whilst out on his mobility scooter, lost control and ended up in the nearby river. He was pulled from the river by boat hire owner, Fluff Cummings but, sadly died a few hours later.
During the rescue operation 2 helicopters had to land on the outfield, at the AVCC cricket ground, holding up play for almost an hour. This was the nearest point to the unfolding tragedy, with players and officials understanding the need for the break in play. The seriousness of the situation only became apparent a few hours later.
Whilst players and officials were understanding it appears the Cherwell League may have a different view, as it is widely rumoured that they will dock Abingdon Vale CC up to 8 points, for failing to bowl their overs within the allocated time. Given there was a break in play whilst Vale were batting, this seems to be against the spirit of cricket.
The umpires had failed to inform Vale 2nd team captain Rob Hood, of when their overs needed to be completed by and so, any points deductions would be harsh. AVCC are hoping the following league rule will allow them to keep the 15 points gained in the drawn match.
5.6 Extensions to Time Allowed The time allowed to each team to bowl its overs may be extended by the umpires in exceptional circumstances, providing any relevant stoppage lasts LONGER THAN FIVE MINUTES. Any such allowance must be agreed by the umpire(s) and notified to the teams and scorers, at the time of the occurrence.
The failure of the umpires to address this matter at the time, allows the league some scope to be sympathetic towards Vales cause.