Derbyshire unhappy at Glamorgan declaration

Controversy reined at the Swalec Stadium despite only 4.5 overs being bowled on the third day of the Championship Division Two match between Glamorgan and Derbyshire

Glamorgan 103 for 4 dec (Rudolph 43) trail Derbyshire 205 by 102 runs
Controversy reined at the Swalec Stadium despite only 4.5 overs being bowled on the third day of the Championship Division Two match between Glamorgan and Derbyshire. Heavy rain ruined the day's play but it was the action off the field that proved the major talking point as Derbyshire accused Glamorgan of an "extraordinary" declaration that was not in the spirit of cricket.
Glamorgan had moved onto 103 for 4, adding 19 runs and losing two wickets to their overnight score, before declaring 102 runs behind Derbyshire's first innings total of 205. The teams went back out at 5.50pm for 13 overs but bad light forced them off the field again before Glamorgan could bowl a ball.
Once the declaration decision had become known, the late afternoon had been dominated by discussions between Glamorgan and Derbyshire and the umpires Alex Wharf and Nigel Cowley, and calls to the ECB. Derbyshire felt Glamorgan were trying to deny them bowling bonus points while Glamorgan were three overs behind the required run rate after the first innings, which would have resulted in the Welsh county losing points if they did not bowl again.
Both sides spoke to the umpires and held discussions with the ECB's head of cricket operations, Alan Fordham, with the declaration decision standing, although there could be a hearing after the game.
Glamorgan captain Jacques Rudolph explained the process which courted such controversy as he insisted his declaration was positive and trying to win the game.
"I know their coach spoke to the umpires and was quite upset about the decision to declare,'' Rudolph said. "We discussed the issue with the umpires and they cleared it with Alan Fordham. We declared and they were out bowling at the time.
"Nigel Cowley came into our changing room and mentioned there is a playing clause that was in the regulations. It is to do with the spirit of cricket and denying teams points. Derbyshire heard about the declaration and also spoke to Alan Fordham about this clause but our decision was a declaration about positive intent and we had discussed it in our own camp at lunch time.
"It was not about denying Derbyshire points. We are also missing out on batting points but there was a bigger carrot and that was to try and bowl them out cheaply."
Rudolph pointed to his decision to open the bowling with seamers rather than spinners meant their decision to declare was not linked with the slow over rate.
"There has been talk about the over rate and yes we are behind but naturally we would have tried to get our over rate up," Rudolph said. "I can give you my word the guys who would have opened the bowling tonight were Andy Carter and Michael Hogan.
"If it would have been an issue about our over rate I would have opened the bowling with Dean Cosker and myself but that was never my intention. But in the end when we got out in the middle it was dark."
Derbyshire's elite performance director, Graeme Welch, was not happy at Glamorgan's decision. "We were looking to bowl them out for around 150," Welch said.
"There might be a lot of weather about tomorrow but we're not playing cricket that way, we are trying to do the right things. What's happened is that because they are three down in their over rate they have decided to declare, which is, in my opinion, an extraordinary declaration which goes against the spirit of cricket.
"The reason I know about this is because when I was at Warwickshire we tried to do pull out like this and we weren't actually allowed to. This is exactly the same situation. Because they have got a slow over rate they were depriving us of two bowling points. I spoke to Alan Fordham about it and he didn't really say anything about it.
"They say they are pulling out to try to win the game but we know full well it's going to chuck it down tomorrow and the only reason they're doing it is to get their over rate back up, depriving us of two bowling points.''
Responding to Rudolph's insistence about a positive declaration, Welch replied: "They have got to say that. We are trying to play the game in the right spirit and we are trying to do the right thing. If this was at the end of the season, it would have kicked off. Because it's the start of the season, it's fine."