NCL chairman Hodges will have time to make his own decisions

Northamptonshire Cricket League chairman John Hodges
Northamptonshire Cricket League chairman John Hodges

Northamptonshire Cricket League vice-chairman Keith Parsons says that no decision will be taken on the chairmanship of the competition in the immediate future.

The current incumbent, John Hodges, has been banned from umpiring until the start of August next year after being found guilty of pushing Burton Latimer captain Damon Hanney during an on-field disagreement in June.

An independent panel had imposed a ban until the start of the 2016 season but this was reduced on appeal and having taken into account Hodges’ service to the game in the county.

The punishment could easily be seen to reflect badly on his role as league chairman but Parsons believes a period of time should be observed before anything happens.

He said: “I’ve spoken to John and he’s understandably upset and wants to take a few days to consider his position.

“It would be a bit unfair for anything to take place until he’s made his decision and we should respect that.”

With regards to the severity of punishment, which is far more extensive than previously issued sentences in the league, Parsons feels that while it is harsh, it was felt an example had to be set.

“It does feel like a sledgehammer has been used to crack a walnut.

“John could’ve made it easier for himself but he’s a man of principle.

“He feels that it’s got out of proportion but that was left for others to decide.

“The decision was taken from people from outside of the league as our disciplinary committee didn’t want to be involved and they’ve definitely made an example.

“The one problem with the rules in our league is that it has become very black and white.

“There is little room for common sense as when a side or individual has tried to use the rules to their advantage something else has been added on.”

As to when any outstanding issues will be resolved, Parsons says it will all soon come out in the wash.

“There will have to be a meeting of course where everyone can have their say but we’ll have to wait until various things have been sorted out,” he said.