Somerset 'preparing' for ECB legal case if Middlesex are reprieved

Somerset are preparing to take legal action against the England and Wales Cricket Board should Middlesex's appeal over a points deduction be successful.

Middlesex were relegated to Division Two after finishing one point below Somerset.

They were docked two points for a slow over rate during their game at Surrey in August, which was abandoned when a crossbow bolt was fired into The Oval.

A decision on Middlesex's appeal could be made by the ECB next week.

In a statement, Somerset chief executive Lee Cooper said: "We're confident the decision of the ECB is one which will stand.

"However, as a precautionary measure we've instructed a leading London-based law firm to prepare our case should the inconceivable happen. If the decision is taken to reinstate the points, we will be well placed to challenge this."

Middlesex lost their final match of the season at Somerset, who leapfrogged the 2016 champions with victory at Taunton to seal their own survival.

The crossbow incident at The Oval meant Middlesex were denied the chance to improve their over-rate in the remainder of the final session of that match.

After the points deduction was announced on 9 September, Middlesex chief executive Richard Goatley said there was "no scope" for an appeal, despite the fact he was "extremely disappointed" by the decision.

A day after their relegation, managing director of cricket Angus Fraser told On Events Radio London they would raise the circumstances of the deduction with the ECB.

More to follow.

BBC

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