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It’s just not cricket

Matt Sturt

Tumut Plains skipper Matt Sturt has expressed his disappointment that former teammate Blake Jones has switched to the Woolpack Lippers, in move that – if deemed illegal – could cost the Lippers their finals bid.

A committee meeting at the Family Hotel in Gundagai this evening will determine the fate of the Lippers, whose use of Jones earned the ire of several Plains players in a match won by the Lippers by 54-runs.

Plains skipper Matt Sturt turned to his team for the okay to write an official complaint and sent in a two-page letter outlining his grievances to Tumut District Cricket Association President Duane Shawcross.

“On Saturday out there at the ground, I noticed Blake Jones driving in, and I hadn’t heard anything from him, and I thought he wanted a game with us,” Sturt said.

“But he parked over with the Lippers players and at the toss, I asked Rahn McDonald if he was planning on playing him and he said yes.

“I told him that it’s against the rules, and I let him  know that there would be consequences,” Sturt said.

The warning fell on deaf ears and it’s a move that could cost the Lippers the three points earned from winning the match, and subsequently any chance of participating in the finals.

Sturt said the sight of one of Tumut Plains’ former players lining up for the opposition hurt team morale, particularly their younger players, and believed it was a contributing factor in their 54-run loss.

“All our heads went down a bit, knowing he was on the other team, “ Sturt said.

“He didn’t do much with the bat, but he kept, and took two catches, and one was pretty crucial. We weren’t happy at all, because it’s wrong, but the Lippers aren’t of the opinion that they’ve done anything wrong.”

Sturt was quick to point out that there was nothing personal in the move to alert the committee of the incident, but he was simply playing by the rules.

“There’s no malice behind the move to write the letter, but rules are rules,” he said. “If they find that it isn’t worthy of the Lippers losing their points, it sets a precedence.”