CYMS batsman Luke Clarke is free to play for the rest of the Orange District Cricket Association season after being handed a suspended sentence at Wednesday night’s judiciary hearing at Riawena Oval.
Clarke was charged with engaging in any form of conduct or behaviour detrimental to the spirit of the game or likely to bring the game into disrepute after posting a derogatory comment directed towards an umpire on Facebook last December.
Clarke was given out LBW by Brianne Cowden in a Royal Hotel Cup match against Centrals on December 14, then immediately vented his frustrations on social media.
The post was taken down that night.
CYMS pleaded not guilty to the charge and argued Clarke showed enough remorse and apologised for his actions after the matter was dealt with by the club.
However, the judiciary found Clarke guilty and suspended the batsman for the remainder of the season, with the sentence suspended until March 25, the Monday after the Orange District Cricket Association grand finals.
The judiciary suspended the sentence after taking Clarke’s previous record into account.
Before Wednesday night, the Orange representative batsmen hadn’t appeared before the ODCA’s judiciary panel.
ODCA president Mark Frecklington said the 10-week suspended sentence showed the game’s governing body wouldn’t stand for any kind of abuse, directed at anyone, on social media, and Clarke’s case should serve as notice to the rest of the competition.
“As far as we’re concerned it is a serious issue and we deemed it serious enough to set an example by it,” Frecklington said.
“The judiciary is of the opinion it is a serious matter. It’s not tolerated and people need to be made aware anything they say, particularly when it’s related to a game they’re playing in, needs to be thought through carefully.”
He added because Clarke was “respected” and a “fair” player the sentence was suspended.
“His good record and his standing in the game means he won’t serve any time,” Frecklington said.
CYMS president and Clarke’s representative on Wednesday night Peter Snowden was happy with the result, adding Clarke was extremely remorseful for his actions.
“It was a very fair hearing, very transparent, which we are grateful for,” Snowden said.
“It was agreed Luke acted inappropriately and ill-advised but acknowledged Luke showed remorse. He assured the panel he wouldn’t bring the game into disrepute in the future.”
CYMS enjoy the bye this weekend, however Clarke has been named to play in the green and golds’ second grade side.