Stephen Wright and Derek deChabert , The Royal Gazette
Bermuda international Malachi Jones yesterday openly admitted that he defied head coach David Moore's specific orders not to play for Willow Cuts at the weekend.
But despite being axed from Bermuda's Americas Championship squad, Jones insisted he did not regret his career damaging decision as was he was under contract with Willow Cuts, and not the national team.
The 20-year-old is now unlikely to represent his country again this year and will be summoned to a disciplinary meeting by the Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) where he could be punished more severely.
Jones said he decided to open the bowling for Willow Cuts against Bailey Bay at Sea Breeze Oval on Sunday even though he had been told not to play by Moore at Bermuda's training session earlier that morning.
"(David Moore) told us we couldn't play but I personally chose to play, so that's how that went," Jones told The Royal Gazette.
"I played because I'm contracted to Willow Cuts to play for the club and I felt I could play and I would.
"I spoke to them before the game, I wanted to play, they wanted me to play, and being contracted to them is like a job so I said I would play.
"I'm not contracted to the national team, so it was the decision I made."
Moore has accused Jones of letting down Bermuda by flagrantly flouting team orders by playing on the Americas Championship rest day.
He also said an e-mail had been sent by the BCB to all clubs clearly stating they could not pick national team players for Sunday's domestic matches.
"I'm extremely disappointed and surprised that one player would not only let the team down but Bermuda as well," said Moore.
"The purpose of the rest day is recover and regenerate from injuries to be able to continue in the tournament at optimum level.
"I would like to personally thank all clubs for supporting the national team and following the BCB directive. International cricket is very important for the future of Bermuda cricket and we can not improve without the partnership and co-operation of all involved."
Shannon Rayner was the only national team player given permission to play as Moore was keen for the batsman to get some much-needed time at the crease.
And Rayner grabbed the opportunity with both hands, scoring 50 in Southampton Rangers' win over Somerset Cricket Club.
Yesterday, Willow Cuts' coach Rodney Fubler insisted he had no idea Jones was under strict orders not to play by the national team.
But he said he saw no reason for national team players to stop playing for their clubs just because Bermuda were in the midst of an important competition.
"We didn't know anything about it," said Fubler. "I assumed he could play, and personally speaking, they're young guys...
"He didn't get injured and bowled a few overs, so I don't know what to say about this.
"Malachi did go training in the morning for the national team and called us to say he wanted to play so we let him. I hadn't had any information saying he couldn't play.
"Others do it, international players play for their counties in between playing for their countries, so..."
The BCB will now decide whether to take disciplinary action against Willow Cuts as well as Jones.
A statement read: "The executive will consider whether any action or recourse will be taken with the club at the next meeting.
"We can assure you the information (about players not playing) was sent to club management (at Willow Cuts) and all the players were informed.
"No further comment will be made at this time."
Moore's decision to jettison Jones from Bermuda's Americas Championship squad has been backed by BCB president Reggie Pearman.
Due to ICC rules the team will have to complete the tournament with only 13 players.
"On behalf of the Board we are extremely disappointed to note this development and we agree and support the coach and team management's decision that the appropriate action has been taken," said Pearman.
Jones has had a chequered international career since bursting onto the scene as a teenager at the 2007 World Cup where he claimed the prized wicket of India's Robin Uthappa with his first delivery.
A year later he was stripped of the vice-captaincy during the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia as punishment for an outburst towards Bermuda's coaching staff, including ex-national team coach Gus Logie.