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  1. ITV Report

Cricket champions Carew demoted for deliberate loss

Carew Cricket Club celebrated their title win win the trophy. Credit: Carew CC

A village cricket club who caused uproar following their morally questionable method of winning the league title have been forcibly demoted.

Carew won their Pembrokeshire Division One title-decider against second-placed rivals Cresselly by declaring on 18-1 in the final game of the season.

After reviewing the rules Carew realised it would be possible to guarantee the league title with a loss by denying their opponents the chance to earn bonus batting and bowling points Cresselly required to overtake the team above.

Carew are currently debating whether to appeal against the sanction, which would see their first XI start next season in division two, and their second XI being demoted to the third tier of the pyramid.

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A number of social media users were angered by the story when it first came to light after the title 'triumph' took place on August 26. Former England batsman Stephen James tweeted: "This is a disgrace. Just hope they realise what a mistake they [Carew] have made."

Starting the day 21 points clear at the top of the standings, and with the prospect of 20 points available for a win, Carew declared on 18-1 after losing their first wicket, giving Cresselly a certain victory but no chance of picking up the bonus needed to win the league.

Although Carew did not break any rules, a four-man disciplinary commission was set up to review the team's actions.

Carew Cricket Club secretary Nick Scourfield said he was at the hearing on Tuesday night and confirmed the club had also been fined £300, while captain Brian Hall has been suspended for the start of the 2018 season.

Even though they've been relegated, Carew will remain champions of division one.

He said: "We are obviously considering appeal and that is all I want to say at the moment."

Pembroke County Cricket Club chairman Paul Webb said the club would not be commenting.