County Cricket 2012 September 6, 2012

Durham breach salary cap

ESPNcricinfo staff

Durham will start next season with point deductions in all three competitions after breaching the salary cap in English domestic cricket.

Counties are not allowed to pay their staff more than £1.8million in total and Durham exceeded this level, although by less than 2%. The result, apart from a £2500 fine, is a 2.5 point deduction in the Championship and a quarter of a point in both the CB40 and Friends Life t20.

Durham notified the ECB as soon as they were aware of the issue and their co-operation throughout was taken into account in the final judgement.

"The tribunal concluded that the sanctions in accordance with the regulations should reflect the fact that it was Durham who notified the ECB of the breach and Durham had co-operated fully and openly," an ECB statement said.

"Durham had admitted a category one breach of the regulations which state that a county should not pay its players in total more than £1.8 million a year. A category one breach is the lowest of the five categories of breach under the team salary payment regulations which apply to all 18 first-class counties and were introduced by ECB in 2010."

In a separate statement, Durham said: "In its submission to the ECB Durham explained the difficulties faced by counties who wish to remain competitive in all competitions and produce players for England.

"In particular the lack of certainty relating to players in the England system means that it is impossible to have absolute certainty around the final salary bill."