SNCL Competitions Committee under fire
William Dick Cricket Media Scotland
SNCL bosses are facing mounting criticism following today's on-off premier division fiasco.
Clubs were told on Tuesday that the entire programme originally scheduled for June 30 was to be replayed this afternoon. However, just 48 hours later officials performed a bizarre U-turn and informed the ten top-flight teams that no matches would take place.
The confusing situation arose after the fixture between Grange and Greenock was postponed to allow the Edinburgh club's ground to be prepared for Scotland's ODI with Pakistan on July 1.
When the remaining four matches were rained off on June 30, some clubs demanded the right to replay their games to prevent Grange and Greenock being given an unfair advantage.
While the competitions committee originally bowed to pressure, they then drew criticism by changing their minds. Instead, even the match between Grange and Greenock will not now take place.
Last night Ayr claimed the confusion was set to cost them at least £1,000 in lost revenue from a tournament they were forced to cancel in the wake of the original decision to replay the June 30 card.
Spokesman Dougie Johnstone said: "We are extremely annoyed about the way the SNCL have mishandled this situation and we will be letting them know our feelings.
"Our club had arranged a tournament which would have brought in a lot of business. When we got Tuesday's communication we had no option but to cancel the event so that we could send a full-strength side through to face Carlton.
"Two days later it was all-change and the league fixture was off but by then it was too late to rescue our tournament. It will cost us at least £1,000 in lost bar takings and who knows how much more in potential lost sponsorship."
Johnstone confirmed that Ayr CC will be writing an official letter of complaint to the governing body.
Meanwhile Greenock president Jim Lepick also criticised the decision which he claims has left him baffled.
Lepick said: "We find the whole scenario bizarre. We are an innocent party in this because our game with Grange was called-off to help Cricket Scotland prepare for an important ODI. It was an exceptional circumstance and we find it bizarre that we are being denied the chance to play against Grange."
An SNCL spokesman explained: "It has not proved possible to re-organise all the matches originally scheduled for June 30 and accordingly no games will now take place.
"The three points awarded to clubs whose games were rained off will stand and Grange and Greenock will also be awarded three points. This decision is taken on the basis that the Grange versus Greenock match, had it not been rescheduled, would have been cancelled or abandoned."
Lepick added: "Whoever is making these decisions appears to be doing so on the hoof - they are changing their minds by the hour and it is reducing the game to farce. As far as I can make out nobody has any confidence in what is going on."