Somerset have been penalized with 12 points after being found guilty of preparing a poor pitch in last season’s County Championship decided against Essex at Taunton. The hearing found the wicket to have ‘excessive unevenness of bounce’.

They will begin the next season on minus 12 points. A total of 24-point penalty was announced with the other 12 suspended for two years which will take effect in 2020. Although the club can still appeal within 14 days against the decision taken by England & Wales Cricket Board Commission. The club informed through their website: “Somerset await the full report from the Cricket Discipline Commission before considering our next course of action.”

The charge consisted of two parts. First, that the pitch was correctly rated poor, which Somerset accepted, and secondly, that the surface was not the best that the club was able to produce for the match. On this second charge, Somerset pleaded not guilty. In the said rain-affected match, Somerset wished to pull off an unlikely victory but Essex somehow managed to hold on & win their second championship in 3 years.

This is not the first time the club have been embroiled in pitch controversy. In 2018, the pitch in the game with Lancashire was rated “below average”. Although no action was taken then, the Cricket Disciplinary Committee had warned the club.