English county side Sussex have had a whopping four players banned and were hit with a 12-point penalty as their hopes for promotion to Division One were dashed.
Sussex copped two penalties from the match referee in a fiery 15-run win over Leicestershire which meant they had accrued four penalties for the entire season.
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As a result, they were handed the automatic 12-point deduction from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who captained Sussex when the four penalties took place, was handed a one-match ban.
So too were Tom Haines, Jack Carson and Ari Karvelas.
Haines was found to have committed his second Level One offence of the season, while Carson’s incident was deemed a Level Two offence.
Carson’s breach of the rules is supposedly related to when he attempted a subtle trip on Leicestershire batsman Ben Cox.
The 22-year-old was extremely apologetic for his actions.
“In the heat of the battle during the previous match against Leicestershire my desperation to compete and ultimately win the game resulted in me crossing the line in what is deemed acceptable within the spirit of cricket,” Carson said.
“I would like to apologise to my teammates and to all our Sussex supporters for my actions during the game.
“I plan to learn from the experience and conduct myself in the correct manner without losing my fierce determination to compete in all fixtures while representing the club.”
With the points deduction killing off their promotion hopes, Sussex coach Paul Farbrace was “disappointed” the incidents took the shine off what had been a strong season for the team.
“We have made Jack and Tom unavailable for selection for this game at Derbyshire,” Farbrace said.
“Following the umpires and match referee’s decision to charge both players with on field Level One and Level Two offences, we needed to take a stance, and show them we will not condone such behaviours.
“Ultimately it has cost us the availability of Cheteshwar and we have been deducted 12 points.
“It is a great shame that these incidents have tarnished what was a fantastic game against Leicestershire, and all the hard work that has gone into the season.
“I am disappointed for our fantastic members and supporters and can assure them we will be working hard to make sure we are not in this position again.”
Originally published as ‘Crossed the line’: Test star banned over shameful act