Ex-Havant player George Metzger among EIGHT Basingstoke cricketers hit with Southern Premier League suspensions for indiscipline in the same game

Former Havant player George Metzer is among a record-breaking group of EIGHT Basingstoke & North Hants cricketers hit with suspensions as a result of indiscipline in the same match.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 10:52 am
George Metzger was one of eight Basingstoke & North Hants cricketers hit with suspensions for indiscipline in the same game. Picture: Keith Woodland

The May’s Bounty club itself have been severely punished by the Southern Premier League - following on-field breaches in last month’s 17-run Division 1 win at Rowledge.

Batsman/wicketkeeper Metzger, who joined Basingstoke in mid-season after starting the season at Havant following his release by the Hampshire Academy, was banned for five matches by the club following an internal inquiry held several days after the game.

Another teenager, opening bowler Tyler Bradley, was subsequently suspended for six games by the Premier League itself.

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Both 19-year olds were charged with a ‘threat of assault or physical interference’ on a Rowledge batsman under the SPL’s Disciplinary Charter.

Basingstoke captain Dan Belcher received (and has served) a two-match internal suspension for failing to control his players.

Five other members of the side that beat Rowledge each picked up a one-match ban, ruling them out of the subsequent SPL match against Andover at May’s Bounty on August 21.

A seriously weakened Basingstoke side lost that game by a colossal 184-runs to Andover, the heaviest defeat in the club’s history.

The Southern Premier League has charged Basingstoke & North Hants with bringing the league into disrepute and found the behaviour of the bulk of their players at Rowledge ‘unbecoming of a member club of the SPL.’

Basingstoke have been fined £100, with 41 points deducted from their playing record - the 21 they received for winning the Rowledge match and a further 20-point deduction from their

season’s tally. That has dropped them to a final seventh place in the table.

The club has been warned by the SPL that any further breaches of discipline will result in a review of their divisional standing.

Metzger, whose five-match ban included one suspended from his short time at Havant, will have completed his sentence in time for the start of the 2022 season.

But, like Bradley, will not be eligible to play this Sunday’s Southern Premier League T20 Plate final against Waterlooville at The Ageas Bowl (3pm).

It is unlikely Bradley, who won the Division 1 bowling award this season with 29 wickets, will play any competitive cricket for Basingstoke or elsewhere until next June when his ban will have been served.

Bringing matters to a close, ECB Southern Premier League chairman Steve Vear reflected: ‘Outside of one nasty spitting incident, this was one of the worse displays of behavior at a league game for some time.

‘We certainly have never had the need for a club or the league itself to ban so many players at once.

‘We are thankful to the umpires for decisive action and look forward to all parties being able to move on from this sorry affair.’