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Suspended ban for Lees after outburst

Alex Lees has been given a suspended ban by Yorkshire Getty Images

Alex Lees, Yorkshire's one-day captain, has issued an apology to umpire Martin Saggers following angry comments made to the media after defeat against Nottinghamshire in the NatWest Blast at Trent Bridge on Friday.

Yorkshire have subsequently handed Lees a two-match suspension, suspended for 12 months. The suspension is liable to be activated under the ECB Cricket Discipline Commission should Lees breach any ECB Directive within the 12-month period.

Lees, in his first season as captain, was furious when Saggers called no ball for a fielding irregularity, namely that Yorkshire had one too many players outside the circle. Greg Smith hit a four from the free hit before Christian swung through the last ball of the over - the extra one in Lees's eyes - to score six.

"It's boiled down to a terrible decision by the umpire," Lees complained after the match. "I don't know how, from 40 yards away, you can tell if someone is in or out of the ring, and it's cost us 12 runs."

It was a chastened Lees who responded to Yorkshire's punishment by saying, in a prepared club statement: "I regret comments made following Friday night's game and I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to Martin. These comments are uncharacteristic and were made in the heat of the moment.

"I understand the seriousness of the offence and regret these actions. I am now keen to put this incident behind me and concentrate on the important games coming up at Headingley this week."

Chairman of the ECB's Cricket Discipline Commission, Gerard Elias QC, stated: "I am grateful to Yorkshire County Cricket Club for taking such prompt and decisive action in this matter. It is an excellent example of a County recognising the standard of conduct that is required by its players and taking measures which clearly demonstrate that anything below that standard will not be accepted."