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ECB to investigate women's cup controversy

Charlotte Edwards led the way with her ninth ODI hundred Getty Images

For the first time in the 18-year history of the Women's County Championship, the ECB is considering the possibility of overturning an official match result, after Kent lodged an appeal in the wake of their tied game against Sussex on Monday.

The game at Beckenham was originally declared a tie by the umpires after Sussex ran a single off the last ball amid early celebrations from the Kent players, who believed the ball to be already dead. However, the result has now been declared as pending by the ECB as it investigates the incident.

Sussex required two to win off the final ball as Kent and England captain Charlotte Edwards ran up to bowl. Batsman Ellen Burt missed the ball and Kent keeper Lauren Griffiths then removed a bail in a failed attempted stumping, but Burt's partner Izzy Collis was already halfway down the pitch and the pair completed the single while Kent erroneously celebrated victory.

After lengthy discussions with the players, the umpires eventually ruled that the ball had not been dead at the time of the run. However, Kent subsequently announced their intention to appeal the result.

It is unclear on what basis Kent have lodged the appeal, given that the official playing regulations do not allow for such a procedure. Challenging the result of a match is in fact thought to be unprecedented even in the 126-year history of the men's Championship.

The only recent precedent might be the Oval Test against Pakistan in 2006, which was originally awarded to England but amended after the ICC ruled that the official result should be "abandoned as a draw". That decision was later overturned by the ICC, with the result reverting to an England victory, after it was felt that questioning the decision of the umpires might create a dangerous precedent.

Indeed, if the ECB did overturn the decision of the umpires in the Kent-Sussex match, it might well be seen as a clear breach of Law 21.10, which states: "Once the umpires have agreed with the scorers the correctness of the scores at the conclusion of the match ... the result cannot thereafter be changed."

An ECB statement said: "The ECB is currently in communication with the umpires, and the Kent and Sussex management teams as to the outcome of the Royal London Women's One-Day Cup match between the two sides on Monday 4 May 2015.

"The incident came to the ECB's attention immediately following the conclusion of the match. All of the information is being carefully considered as a matter of priority."

Women's county matches are not generally filmed, so it is unlikely that the ECB will have any video footage to review.

The ECB's decision may well be crucial in deciding the result of this year's Championship - which, unlike in the men's game, is a one-day competition. Sussex and Kent have for many years been the strongest two teams, with no other side having won since 2002, and the rivalry between the two is well established. However, it has perhaps never quite reached this level of intensity before.