Is it cricket or contrived?
A TWENTY20-style second innings to decide outright points is just not cricket, according to Far North Coast LJ Hooker League officials. They have asked Cricket NSW for advice on a captains' agreement that saw Cudgen shoot to the top of the table with an outright win against Pottsville earlier this season. In an email to Cricket NSW, officials said the match "was not in the spirit of the game". The controversy surrounds the teams' round-four clash at Reg Dalton Field. Pottsville posted 161 runs, which were chased down by Cudgen with four wickets in hand. First innings points were decided about 4pm on the second day of play before captains, Craig Wilson of Cudgen and Shane Robinson of Pottsville, decided to slog it out for outright points and the chance to move further up the ladder. With Pottsville sitting near the bottom of the table, they had nothing to lose. Cudgen was five points out of the top four and had everything to gain. Wilson says the idea was Robinson's. Robinson, however, remembers things differently. The agreement did not break any existing league rules, but could set a dangerous precedent, according to Hooker League chairman Brett Crawford. "All sorts of issues can arise from this," he said. "They haven't broken the rules, but it isn't really the right thing to do. "It sets a dangerous precedent. Other teams could do it. It might help others to jump into the finals or end up minor premiers. "We just wanted comment from NSW Cricket to say what type of action they would take and if they thought it was against the spirit of the game, and if it was, should there be any action taken." Hooker League secretary and Pottsville club secretary Hugh Kirk said he couldn't understand why the agreement was made. "The contentious bit is that it might be seen that Pottsville gave Cudgen an outright victory," he said. In the second innings, Pottsville was all out for 115 after 19 overs and Cudgen lost three wickets in reaching the total. The outright win gave Cudgen 12 points instead of just seven, and moved them into second spot on the competition ladder. Wins in their next three matches saw Cudgen move into and hold down first spot, three points clear of Casino in second and four points above Southern Districts and Tintenbar-East Ballina. Cudgen skipper Wilson said the issue was irrelevant because the match was concluded in less than 20 overs anyway. "We don't see any dramas %because we bowled them out in 19 overs," Wilson said. "If they (Hooker League) want to take any action we will fight it because we rolled them in 19 overs." He said the style of play and the result had not been influenced by the shortened second innings format.