HAMPSHIRE have vowed to clamp down on their discipline after receiving a suspended points deduction and a fine.
The Ageas Bowl outfit will be walking a disciplinary tightrope and will face a hefty punishment if their players misbehave again in the next 12 months.
As it stands, Hampshire will be deducted 16 Championship points or two points in the NatWest T20 Blast or Royal London One-Day Cup if they are handed another fixed penalty in the next year.
They were also handed a £4,000 fine with a further £500 costs from the Cricket Discipline Commission.
The statement read: ‘A CDC Disciplinary Panel was convened to hear a charge brought by the ECB against Hampshire Cricket relating to five or more separate occasions when their registered cricketers committed fixed penalty offences over a 12-month period.
‘The panel, made up of Ricky Needham, Mike Smith and Tim O’Gorman, was concerned insufficient measures had been taken by Hampshire to proactively address their ongoing responsibility to maintain disciplinary standards with players.
‘The panel imposed a penalty of a points deduction of 16 points in the LV= County Championship, two points in the NatWest T20 Blast or two points in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
‘These point deductions are suspended for a period of 12 months and will be applied if a further fixed penalty offence occurs within that period in the competition in which the offence takes place.
‘The Panel also imposed a fine of £4,000 and a hearing cost contribution of £500.’
Director of cricket, Giles White, admitted that the players had over-stepped the mark and had been reminded of their responsibilities.
But he believes the general standard of on-pitch behaviour had been good.
White said: The club prides itself on playing in the correct manner.
‘Over the years, certainly since I’ve been in charge, the feedback from umpires has been very positive about the way the boys play as a group.
‘Unfortunately, we’ve slipped up on occasions. In the heat of the moment we’ve let ourselves down in isolated incidents. That’s not acceptable, we’ve got to cut that out and the boys know that.
‘We’ll take the punishment and move on.’
Although Hampshire are competitive, they are not generally seen as a nasty side to play against.
And it certainly goes against their old ‘Happy Hampshire’ tag from the past.
But White indicated that the players had been hit in the pocket for their transgressions.
He said: ‘We have measures in place, we sit down with the players and there is a monetary fines process in place as well.’
Owais Shah was the most recent to fall foul of the umpires during the club’s win over Middlesex in the Natwest T20 Blast at the Ageas Bowl.
The former England man was reprimanded for a Level One breach of the ECB’s Discipline code (using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or making an obscene gesture), after being caught on a stump microphone reacting to his dismissal.
Michael Carberry was also reported in May in the Championship defeat against Yorkshire at Headingley.
Former all-rounder Matt Coles was twice reported for transgressions.
Wicketkeeper Adam Wheater was suspended for two matches last August for a Level Two offence (throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner).