Reprieve for South rep stars
By TONY WHITE
THE four South Services players banned from playing for their club this weekend after missing representative duties have been given a reprieve.
Following discussions between South president Jason Thompson and Clarence River Cricket Association (CRCA) president Jeff Hackett, Zac Page, Stuart Jonker, Matt Peterson and Steve Laybutt are available for selection against Westlawn Crown Hotel at McKittrick Oval on Saturday.
In Tuesday's Daily Examiner revealing the ban, Hackett was quoted as saying the South quartet: "Under the rules, basically it's straight forward, the same as other association's, they are stood down from the club's next game."
The player's had failed to notify representative selectors within 48 hours of the match they were unavailable to play in the Inter District game in Macksville on Sunday.
After consulting the CRCA's constitution, Thompson pointed out the players cannot be banned automatically, they must be first cited to appear before a hearing and secondly, under the rules governing representative selection, it is incumbent on selectors to publish representative teams at least 10 days prior to the game.
The teams were first published in The Daily Examiner on Wednesday, January 11.
"Under the rules the selectors should have had the teams in the paper 10 days prior to the game," Hackett said.
"There's no point going on with it. It's a technicality, the players are allowed to play this Saturday. There will be further investigations."
South have written a letter to the CRCA outlining its position.
It is understood several of the players involved were upset at the premature ruling and South will hold further discussions.
The matter is expected to be aired at the next Association meeting for delegates at South Ex-Servicemen's Club on Thursday, February 9.