Somerset prepares legal case against relegation threat

The club plans to arm itself with an appropriate response if Middlesex wins its appeal against the points deduction that contributed to its relegation from Division One of the County Championship.

Police secures the area outside The Oval cricket ground in London after the arrow attack on August 31.   -  AP

Somerset said on Thursday it is preparing a legal case should Middlesex win its appeal against the points deduction that contributed to its relegation from Division One of the County Championship.

Middlesex was docked two points for a slow over-rate during its match against Surrey in August - a game that was abandoned when a crossbow bolt was fired into The Oval.

The club was subsequently relegated by one point after losing its final match of the season to Somerset, which maintained its top-flight status as a result of the victory on September 28. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is considering an appeal from Middlesex, county champion the previous year, but Somerset is preparing a case with the help of a London-based law firm, should the decision go against them.

"We're confident the decision of the ECB is one which will stand," said Somerset chief executive Lee Cooper. "However, as a precautionary measure we’ve instructed a leading London-based law firm to prepare our case should the inconceivable happen. If the decision is taken to reinstate the points, we will be well placed to challenge this.

"Clearly, our tactics for the last few games of the season were determined by the points we needed to achieve in order to avoid relegation, and for this goalpost to move retrospectively would be inequitable to say the least. We are assured by the ECB that this point is understood, and consequently we're hoping for a swift conclusion in the next few days."

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