A bowler who intentionally bowled a no-ball to deny a rival a century has been handed a hefty suspension.
English club cricketer Jay Darrell was on the verge of a maiden century, with his Minehead team requiring two runs for victory over Purnell, with the batsman on 98 not out.
What happened next was a shocking display of bad sportsmanship, with the bowler, who has not been named, intentionally threw the ball to the boundary – the byes ending the game, and leaving Darrell stranded two runs short of triple digits.
Response has been swift – on Wednesday, the Somerset Cricket League handed down a whopping nine match ban to the player, saying the incident "brought the SCL and cricket in general into disrepute" and "was against the spirit of the game".
For Purnell's part, they seemed critical of their player's actions, posting on Twitter that "The unsavoury scenes to end the game can’t be condoned" and that "both the captain and the player made full and sincere apologies to those involved after the game.
"The incident will be dealt with internally by the club."
Minehead were appreciative of the apology, but noted online that "some things just can't be undone".
Darrell took the incident in his stride, saying it was a "hell of game" but a "shame the way it ended".
While the bowler's actions were almost universally condemned on social media, this is not the first time something like this has happened.
Just last year, West Indian star Kieron Pollard was criticised for bowling a no ball with batsman Evin Lewis on 97 not out, with one run needed for victory.
In 2010, Sri Lankan bowler Suraj Randiv was docked his entire match fee and suspended for one game after bowling a front foot no-ball with Indian superstar Virender Sehwag on strike and on 99 not out needing one run to win.
Sehwag blasted the delivery for six anyway, but sadly for him – it didn't count.
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