THE two Bicester & North Oxford cricketers involved in an incident that led to the abandonment of their Cherwell League clash a fortnight ago will be forced to watch their team from the sidelines at the start of next season.

Mike Simpson has been hit with an eight-game ban, four of which are suspended, and his son, Richard Simpson, has been handed a four-match punishment, two of which are suspended.

The flare-up occurred in a Division 4 match with Witney Mills when a batsman, who was going for a run, collided with the Bicester bowler, Mike Simpson.

Whilst it is understood no physical injuries were sustained, the manner of the incident prompted one of the umpires, Mick Belcher, to comment: “I’ve never seen anything like it in more than 50 years of umpiring cricket.”

Witney Mills captain Mike Dove told the Oxford Mail shortly after the game the incident “left the players, members and supporters of Witney Mills Cricket Club very upset, angry and in a state of shock”.

The Cherwell League received reports from all parties before a disciplinary panel took the decision to ban the father-and-son duo earlier this week.

A statement from the league read: “At the hearing the decision was to ban Mike Simpson for eight games (four suspended) and Richard Simpson for four games (two suspended).

“We awarded points for the match as follows: Witney Mills 10 points (6 for the abandonment plus the 4 they had gained up to the point the game was called off), B&NO 6 points (for the abandonment).

“The players and club have seven days to appeal, so we will not go into any further detail at this point.”

Bicester secretary Wes Kernaghan said his club would meet to discuss the next step.

“I cannot comment on the individuals, but from the club’s point of view we have not had a chance to get together and review the outcome so I cannot comment on whether we will appeal or not,” he said.