THE South Yorkshire Cricket League have said they will throw out one of their clubs accused of “cyber-sledging”.
The club involved, Rossington CC, have appealed against the decision to expel them from the league and say the club itself had nothing to do with it.
The League’s action follows alleged Twitter activity by members of the Rossington club which was put under probation by the League earlier this year following incidents at the League’s annual dinner.
In a statement, the League say the social networking site was used to launch attacks on the League chairman and others.
“It was felt by the League Management Committee (LMC) that the attacks were of a very serious and personal nature,” says the statement.
“This type of activity is not what is expected of players of member clubs, particularly a club serving a probationary period.”
It went on: “Rossington CC have had a number of problems recently in relation to League rules and this latest misdemeanour was considered by the LMC to be the final straw and the vote was overwhelming to expel them from the League.”
The Rossington players involved are charged under the rule relating to bringing the League into disrepute.
Rossington have launched an appeal against their expulsion. As a result, the club have had their fixtures suspended and these will be rescheduled if their appeal is successful.
The Rossington players involved have been asked to attend a League Disciplinary Hearing this week.
Rossington secretary Steve Groves said it had “absolutely nothing” to do with Rossington Cricket Club.
“As I understand it, a Twitter page was set up independently of this cricket club by an anonymous individual under the tag ‘Rosso cricket’. As far as we were concerned it had absolutely nothing to do with Rossington Cricket Club.
“Individuals were commenting and re-tweeting comments but we didn’t know anything about this until the League contacted us.
“Yes, I understand some players went on Twitter but if Joey Barton says something on Twitter do his club QPR get punished? It’s the individuals, it’s nothing to do with us. We asked whoever was doing it to stop posting such comments.”
He said that nine players had been asked to attend the disciplinary hearing this week.
He said the club had been drawn into it but said he was aware of some of the comments and added: “It is not acceptable what has been said - I would not have done that.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board have termed use of social networking sites for undue criticism and abuse as ‘cyber-sledging’ and cases are understood to be growing.