CLARENCE Valley cricketing circles are split following a three-week suspension handed down to a premier league player for bringing the game into disrepute.
The player, Westlawn batsman Luke McLachlan, was found to have infringed the CRCA Code of Conduct during a game of night cricket at McKittrick Park on November 26.
The suspension, to miss three playing days of cricket, was handed down at a judiciary meeting on December 18.
Mr McLachlan's behaviour when he was dismissed, run out, during the game against Brothers Cricket Club, sparked an anonymous letter from a spectator to the CRCA.
In it the writer said that after McLachlan's dismissal "he proceeded to swear coming off the field, then loudly with expletives, mostly the f-word, and then violently attacked that dressing room door with his bat and it seems hit other things in the shed with his bat while continuing to very loudly swear."
The writer's main complaint was children at the game witnessed the behaviour and were "scared by it".
Mr McLachlan said he was prepared to accept the judiciary decision, but claimed he was the victim of a "witch hunt" by the CRCA executive, who handled the whole process poorly.
"The first time I heard anything about a letter was when a mate told me to get on Facebook and that I was being charged for swearing on the field," he said.
Mr McLachlan, who pleaded guilty to the charges at the judiciary hearing, had a number of issues with the proceedings.
He was disappointed at the way members of the CRCA executive collected evidence against him without letting him know about it.
The severity of the suspension for a first offence also upset him.
He also wondered why he had been singled out when a player in the other team in the same game had dropped his bat and kicked it to the boundary after his dismissal.
CRCA president Tom Howard stood by the judiciary decision.
He said he hoped the suspension sent a message to the players that this sort of behaviour would not be tolerated.
"I know senior players may not think this, but they are role models to young people," Mr Howard said.
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