Fuming Lake Cargelligo files Creet Cup protest

Cricket

LAKE Cargelligo has lodged an official protest with the Murrumbidgee Cricket Council after claiming Griffith's under 18s side fielded an ineligible player in Sunday night's Creet Cup clash at Exies No.1 Oval.

The furore surrounds Leagues Club young gun Alex McMaster, who has represented both Griffith sides in the Creet Cup this season and played a huge role in Lake's defeat on Sunday.

Lake Cargelligo District Cricket Association (LCDCA) president Colin Fisher, who took part in the match, said it was against the spirit of cricket that a player could represent two different teams within the same competition.

McMaster previously featured in the Griffith senior team's three-wicket loss to Lake Cargelligo in early December, top-scoring for the match with 47 before taking 1-23 as the first change bowler.

On Sunday, he opened the batting for Griffith's under 18s and lasted more than two hours in the middle, keeping the innings together with a confident 34.

Fisher said the LCDCA submitted their written appeal on Monday afternoon.

"The player in question made a very big impact on that game," he said.

"What they've done is no different to us going and getting someone from, say, West Wyalong to come and play with us. 

"It's two totally different teams over there and it should not be allowed.

"It's definitely not his fault but that's beside the point.

"It's not in the spirit of cricket. You can't go and fill in for one side and then go and play for another side, and then come back. 

"You've got to pick one or the other."

Lake Cargelligo cannot challenge for the O'Farrell Cup, making the Creet Cup the most prestigious competition available to the town's cricket side.

"We haven't been in a Creet Cup final since 1993, I think, so this means a hell of a lot to us," Fisher said.

The Lake Cargelligo side tried to raise their concerns prior to the match but LCDCA treasurer Craig Hatwell claimed they were "brushed" by the match umpires.

"We're sort of sick of getting the run-around from Griffith," Hatwell said.

"Big towns do that sort of stuff and think nobody's going to do anything. 

"They've got a big enough town to look after themselves and not have the same player running around for two sides."

However, Lake's complaints appear destined to fall on deaf ears.

According to the Creet Cup rules currently available on the Murrumbidgee Cricket Council's website, there is no rule that addresses the eligibility of any player in any team.

MCC president Gordon Browne told The Area News yesterday he was yet to receive the LCDCA's protest but said the council would review the situation once it had.

"As soon as I actually see the appeal we will deal with it," he said.

Griffith under 18s coach Ritchie Alvaro said he was aware McMaster had represented the other Griffith Creet Cup side before Sunday, but was not aware of Lake Cargelligo's discontent.

"I requested he played for the under 18s because he's still young enough to play with us," he said.

"I suppose we'll just have to wait until it's reviewed and we'll go from there."

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