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Ban for cricketer who gave away runs to deny maiden century to opponent

Jay Darrell was left stranded on 98 when a bowler threw the ball over the boundary.

A club cricketer has been banned for nine games after his act of bad sportsmanship denied an opponent his maiden century.

A fixture in the Somerset Cricket League was reaching its conclusion on Saturday, with Minehead Second XI batsman Jay Darrell two runs short of his first hundred and five needed to win.

An unidentified player from Purnell Cricket Club reportedly chose to throw the ball over the boundary in his delivery stride, conceding four overthrows and a no-ball, leaving Darrell high and dry.

The bowler’s actions have been condemned by the likes of TV presenter Piers Morgan and former England cricketers David Lloyd and Rob Key.

The Somerset Cricket League said the bowler’s actions were “against the spirit of the game” and had brought cricket into disrepute.

One club-mate of Darrell took to the social media site to describe the incident as “the worst moment of my cricket life” and “embarrassing” while another wrote how the Purnell team were “disgusted” by the bowler.

The story soon travelled well beyond the confines of the pavilion, though, with broadcaster and cricket fan Morgan taking up the issue.

Retweeting an account of the moment, he commented: “Seriously? How utterly pathetic. Shame on you @purnellcc.”

Lloyd, a former England coach turned broadcaster, did likewise, succinctly describing the act as “ordinary”.

It was also discussed on Sky Sports’ coverage of the Vitality Blast, where former England batsman Rob Key said: “How average is that? That is appalling.”

In a statement, the Somerset Cricket League said: “The Somerset Cricket League disciplinary committee has reviewed the incident.

“The incident in its opinion brought the Somerset Cricket League and cricket in general into disrepute and contained behaviour that was against the spirit of the game.

“As a result of this review, a Purnell CC player has been banned for the next nine completed Somerset Cricket League matches.”

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