Drakes League officials have warned the behaviour of supporters will be under the spotlight at Sunday’s Sykes Cup final.
They have asked clubs to put the word around their members and followers that anyone attending the showpiece – between Hoylandswaine and Golcar at Honley (1.00) – is representing their own club and should act accordingly.
Current players attending the arrowselfdrive-sponsored final, too, have been told the ECB Code of Conduct still applies even though they are only spectators at the game.
The move follows insults which were aimed at Hoylandswaine players and supporters, in particular, during the presentation following their T20 Trophy win over Barkisland at Broad Oak the weekend before last.
Drunken spectators chanted abuse and then formed an unpleasant scrum before the teams were invited up for their mementoes.
The Sykes Cup final has not been immune from isolated incidents of bad behaviour by fans in the past, but the Drakes Executive – who are not pointing the finger at any particular group – are keen to ask clubs and players for their help in making sure Sunday’s occasion passes without problem.
A statement from the Executive reads: “In looking forward to the forthcoming Sykes Cup final between Golcar and Hoylandswaine, the League Executive feel it pertinent to issue a statement concerning the behaviour of spectators attending the game.
“At the 2013 semi-final between the two clubs, there were several reported examples of a disturbing lack of respect shown towards a number of Hoylandswaine spectators.
“Sadly, at the recent T20 finals there was a repeat of this behaviour, with both players and spectators from Hoylandswaine being subjected to hostility and personal abuse which went way beyond anything which could be interpreted as friendly banter.
“The Executive would therefore remind any current players attending the final as spectators that proven examples of unsatisfactory conduct can be interpreted under the ECB Code of Conduct as bringing the League and their own clubs into disrepute.
“At the same time, clubs must also take adequate steps to ensure the good behaviour of their members and supporters.
“We expect that all attending the final do so with the expectation of enjoying a superb game of cricket and show respect to players and spectators alike.”