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News

Leicestershire fear wooden spoon after 16-point deduction

Leicestershire have been deducted 16 points in the LV= County Championship and fined £5,000 for at a disciplinary panel hearing at Lord's called to rule on the persistent misbehaviour of their players

The crowd gets settled in for an evening of action, Leicestershire v Derbyshire, NatWest T20 Blast, North Group, Grace Road, May 22, 2015

Gloom will be hanging over Grace Road after a 16-point deduction  •  Getty Images

Leicestershire have been deducted 16 points in the LV= County Championship and fined £5,000 following a disciplinary panel hearing at Lord's called to rule on the persistent misbehaviour of their players.
The punishment severely undermines their attempts to avoid the wooden spoon for the third successive season and leaves them 32 points behind the second-bottom club, Kent, with only four matches remaining.
Leicestershire's chief executive, who attended the hearing with chairman Paul Haywood and head coach Andrew McDonald, called the sanction "severe".
The Disciplinary Panel, chaired by Gerard Elias QC and including the former players Mike Smith and Ronnie Irani, convened to hear a charge brought by the ECB against Leicestershire in respect of five or more separate occasions when their players committed fixed penalty offences in a 12-month period.
The ECB statement read: "The points deduction is immediate but the fine will be suspended for a period of 12 months and will be imposed if Leicestershire players commit a further two fixed penalty breaches within that period. In addition Leicestershire were ordered to pay £500 towards the cost of the hearing.
"The panel took into account the guilty plea and the changes that have taken place at the club within the past year as well as the club's stated intention to improve their disciplinary situation. However they noted the overall seriousness of the five offences and felt that more substantial action should have been taken to address these issues at an earlier stage. "
Khan, who has shown signs of revitalising Leicestershire since taking over last winter, said: "Andrew and I have worked hard, and continue to do so, to improve the expected standards and levels of discipline expected of Leicestershire cricketers. It is unfortunate that two of the highest level indiscretions happened last year that we had no control over and we believe that the latest low level incident reported was particularly harsh.
"Unfortunately there is no platform for us as a club to appeal any of the reported incidents. We have already put in place procedures relating to player education and will be talking to the Professional Cricketers Association as to what further programmes we can put into place.
"The players have a duty to behave on the field as well as off the field in a manner that the club expects and so this is simply not acceptable to us. Further discussions with regards to future behaviour and the repercussions will be outlined to players within the next 24 hours.
"The conclusion to today's hearing is bitterly disappointing to us considering the superb win earlier this week against Derbyshire and taking into account the significant strides we have made this season.
"Clearly more needs to be done, but we will brush ourselves off and remain determined to do everything possible to improve every aspect of the club."