Just not cricket! Match abandoned after claims batsman headbutted bowler in Lancashire Knockout Cup

Match abandoned after alleged headbutt incident.
Match abandoned after alleged headbutt incident.

A cricket cup match was abandoned after a bowler was allegedly headbutted by a batsman he had just dismissed.

The incident dramatically halted the tie between Eccleston and Rainhill yesterday in the Lancashire Club Knockout.

Palace Shield club Eccleston claimed the the opposition batter reacted violently after being given out caught behind.

And today Rainhill, who play in the Liverpool and District Competition, announced the un-named player had been suspended from all cricket pending an inquiry.

"This has really shaken us. Obviously, Rainhill CC does not tolerate violent behaviour and our club's code of conduct expressly states that such behaviour is unacceptable," said an official.

"Rainhill CC promotes sportsmanship and respect, and yesterday's incident falls short of the standards we not only champion, but expect from our players."

The flare-up came as Rainhill were chasing a target of 147 set by their hosts at the Doctor's Lane ground near Chorley.

Witnesses said that, with the visitors on 117-5 and needing only 30 more runs with more than 12 overs remaining, one of the batsmen edged a delivery to the Eccleston wicketkeeper and was dismissed.

Seconds later it was claimed the batsman assaulted the bowler before walking off the field.

A post on the Eccleston CC Twitter page last night said: "Shocking scenes at ECC today in out Lancashire Cup game - Rainhill batsman headbutts our bowler after being given out caught behind. Umpires have abandoned the game due to the assault on our bowler."

The tweet was later taken down.

Eccleston secretary Tony Moon said: "As a club we will not be taking any further action.

"It is an end to the matter as far as we are concerned."

It was initially reported that Rainhill had been expelled from the Lancashire Club Knockout as a result of the incident.

But today a spokesman for the Lancashire Cricket Foundation, which runs the annual tournament involving clubs from 10 different leagues, said a decision had yet to be taken.

Official Ray Taylor said: "I am awaiting a report from the match umpires.

"All I can confirm is there was an incident that lead to the match being abandoned. No decision has been made so far on the outcome of the match."