ORANGE CYMS’ Luke Clarke will tonight front the Orange District Cricket Association judiciary charged with engaging in conduct that has brought the game into disrepute.
The charge stems from an alleged incident during his club’s Royal Hotel Cup match against Centrals at Wade Park on Friday, December 14.
Clarke, opening the batting for CYMS, was given out LBW by umpire Brianne Cowden off the bowling of Centrals’ Mark Wiegold.
It is alleged that upon being dismissed Clarke posted a derogatory comment on Facebook about the decision and Cowden.
Clarke has entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.
The judiciary, comprised of ODCA club nominees, will hear the case at Riawena Oval at 6pm this evening.
Orange CYMS president Peter Snowden, who will argue on Clarke’s behalf at the hearing, said the batsman’s behaviour was “inappropriate and ill-advised” but did not contravene any ODCA laws.
“We are concerned about modelling behaviour for our club’s juniors, as well as respecting both the traditions of the game and umpires,” Snowden said.
Snowden explained Clarke had apologised to teammates for his behaviour and offered to contact and apologise to Cowden.
Tonight’s hearing comes just barely a month since Cavaliers’ Mark Johnson was handed a mammoth 16-week suspension by the ODCA for hitting an Orange City Warriors opponent with an open hand and verbally abusing an umpire.
At the time, ODCA president Mark Frecklington and ODCA secretary Peter Jarick stressed the need for players to control their behaviour.
“Players need to be aware of the code of conduct in place,” Frecklington said.
“Their actions during a match, players need to be aware of what they’re doing and certainly social media isn’t a place to vent frustrations during a match.
“They need to be careful of what they say and do.”
Jarick backed up his president, adding if any players muck up on the field it’s up to those at the game to notify the ODCA.
“I just want to highlight the need for clubs to report behaviour they hear or see,” Jarick said.
“They have to be mindful of their responsibilities.”