Vermeulen asks for hearing over ban

Mark Vermeulen, who was banned from all first-class and league cricket in England for 10 years on Wednesday, has issued a statement through his lawyers claiming he only learnt of his ban through the media the following day.
Following a chain of incidents at a Central Lancashire League match between Werneth and Ashton the league imposed the decade-long ban. However, Andrew Fitch-Holland, a barrister and principal with Line & Length Sports Consultants, who is acting for Vermeulen claimed the league thought the batsman had left the country.

"Mark Vermeulen learnt of the imposition of this ban from a news story appearing on Cricinfo's website on September 14th," the statement read. "Mr. Vermeulen had received no communication from any official of the Central Lancashire League that disciplinary proceedings were being taken against him and therefore was not present when this matter was considered.

"We understand that this action was taken in circumstances where the League believed that Mark was no longer in the country, which is not the case. Mark is devastated to find himself in this position and understands that his behaviour at the match in question was far from acceptable. Naturally he wishes to offer his heartfelt apologies not just to those who witnessed the incident, but to the League and his team-mates.

"We have been in contact with the League and have made it clear that Mark wishes to have the opportunity to have a personal hearing as a matter of urgency. At the present time we anticipate that such a hearing will now be held within the next few days.

"At such a hearing mitigation will be offered in the hope that the League would then be fully aware of all the circumstances surrounding this incident," the statement continued.

"We would expect that any punishment that might be imposed would then be made with all the relevant factors having been properly considered. In that regard we are actively working with the CLL in a spirit of contrite co-operation to resolve this situation as soon as possible."

Click here to see the video of the incident at bbc.co.uk