Durham v Yorkshire, Twenty20 Cup, Chester-le-Street July 8, 2008

Buck stops with me - Yorkshire chief

Cricinfo staff


Azeem Rafiq does not own a British passport and his participation in Yorkshire's team has forced the postponement of their match against Durham © Yorkshire CCC
 

Yorkshire's chief executive Stewart Regan has taken responsibility for Monday night's farce where their Twenty20 quarter-final with Durham at Chester-le-Street was postponed just minutes from the scheduled start. The ECB called off the match when it was discovered Yorkshire had fielded the ineligible Azeem Rafiq, their 17-year-old spinner.

"Ultimately, the buck stops with me. I'm responsible for running the club," Regan told BBC Radio Five Live.

He said he first became aware of problems surrounding Rafiq's eligibility when the ECB contacted the club on Friday, a week after the player had turned out against Nottinghamshire in a match which took them through to the quarter-finals.

"We carried out some investigations internally and it transpired that whilst we notified the ECB that the player was on an academy contract, we hadn't completed the correct paperwork for him to be registered to play in the first team. The ECB said they would try and register him retrospectively."

He added: "The club has got to put its hands up and say we didn't register the player correctly and we didn't look into the player's personal circumstances as a first-team cricketer. The situation was compounded because he was pulled straight from the academy at very short notice to play for the first team when we had a couple of other players unavailable. It was that speed of selection, coupled with the fact that he hadn't been registered last October, which led to the situation we found ourselves in yesterday."

But he said it was not Yorkshire's fault that the decision to postpone the game came so late. "We provided everything we could to the ECB over the weekend. It's a very unfortunate set of circumstances. In an ideal world, the match would have been called off a lot sooner."

He added that the issue was compounded by the fact that this year the Twenty20 Cup carried added significance because of the chance to play in the Champions' League. The finalists of the domestic competition will compete for a $5million prize.

Yorkshire will attend an ECB disciplinary hearing on Thursday when they will be told of their fate.


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