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December 5, 2008
Yorkshire could be in trouble with the ECB over the way they went about signing allrounder Lee Hodgson from Surrey.
Hodgson, who made his first-class debut in the final match of last season, scoring 63 against Nottinghamshire, signed a two-year deal with Yorkshire, but Surrey have lodged a formal complaint with the ECB over what they feel was an illegal approach.
Yorkshire admit they failed to follow the 28-day written notice ruling, but said they didn't think it was required because they believed Hodgson was a free agent. However, while he wasn't under contact, he was still a registered Surrey player.
"We certainly haven't tried to tap the player up or anything like that, and as far as we were concerned he was a free agent," Regan told the Yorkshire Post. "We're obviously disappointed at being reported and we don't feel we've acted in an underhand way.
"Because the player was still registered to Surrey, we should have given them 28 days' notice, and we accept that's the stance we should have taken. But our understanding was that if the player wasn't under contract then that wasn't required, so now we are having to defend ourselves."
Surrey said they were in the process of talking to Hodgson about a new deal when Yorkshire swooped in. "We were negotiating with Lee about a contract when Yorkshire announced they had signed him before we knew they had made an approach," Paul Sheldon, Surrey's chief executive, said.
If Yorkshire are found guilty they could be fined, but they will argue that everything they did was in good faith. An ECB panel will discuss the issue later this month.
Yorkshire have had a few issues with player registrations last season - they were thrown out of the Twenty20 Cup after fielding 17-year-old spinner Azeem Rafiq, who hadn't completed the required paperwork. There are also problems surrounding Naved-ul-Hasan because of his links to the ICL.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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