Walshaw facing Lancashire Knockout blow

The Bolton News: Walshaw’s Raki Weerasundara Walshaw’s Raki Weerasundara

WALSHAW could be kicked out of this year’s Lancashire Knockout competition if they are found guilty of breaching Lancashire Cricket Board rules on overseas players in Sunday’s second round victory over Little Lever.

Despite a comprehensive 98-run win, the Bury side now face an anxious wait to see if they will be allowed to play either Prestwich or Leyland in the third round.

The Victory Road men have made an official complaint to the LCB after Walshaw fielded two overseas amateur players, claiming the rules state they are only allowed one.

Walshaw captain Mikey Watt said he would be disappointed if his side were removed from the competition after the reigning Bolton League champions reported them for playing both Raki Weerasundara and Ben Hilder.

“I’m not too sure if we’ve broken any rules to be honest,” he said. “We did look at the regulations but felt there was nothing specific regarding the number of overseas we could play.

“I’ve spoken to Paul Brighton at the LCB and he will now check on the situation for us.

“Obviously, we will be disappointed if we have broken any rules but we will just have to wait and see.”

However, Little Lever captain Josh Gent believes the rules are clear and says his side should be allowed to progress to the third round.

“The Bolton League secretary (Ray Taylor) pointed it out to us and recommended we make a formal complaint,” he said.

“The rules seem pretty clear to me. You are allowed to field one overseas professional and one overseas amateur, but Walshaw fielded two overseas amateurs, which is not allowed. The way it reads, it looks like we should be going through.

“Obviously, we would have rather won the match properly than have to be going down this route, but rules are rules and they are there for a reason.”

Despite the controversy surrounding the match, Watt was pleased with the overall performance of his Walshaw side.

“It was a great win,” he said. “We batted really well and almost reached 300, so I’m happy with that.

Weerasaundara top-scored for the hosts with 92 while the bowlers were also on top form with Danny Hornby taking 4-44 and Steven Holt 3-51 as Walshaw racked up a total of 292-7.

In reply, Simon Anderton top-scored with 60 for Little Lever but the Bolton side collapsed after losing professional Kamran Younis, bowled by Hornby for 16 runs, and they were eventually skittled for 194.

Watt added: “It was good to get their pro out. He went cheaply and from there it was always going to be a tough ask for the rest of the Lever team.

“It was a good win, but we now have to wait and see who will progress to the third round.”

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