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Saturday, 6 July, 2002, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
'Swearing' cricketer back for his club
Lamphey Cricket Club
Lamphey CC needs its star player back at the crease
A record-breaking cricketer from Pembrokeshire returned to the crease on Saturday after completing a ban for swearing at an umpire.

Australian David Lovell, captained the village side Lamphey, after serving a two-month suspension imposed by Pembroke County Cricket Club (PCCC).

David Lovell
David Lovell plays again

Mr Lovell, 32, said he still wanted his appeal against the decision heard but insisted he was "raring" to play for his club against their rivals Llangwm.

"It is great to be finally playing cricket again," he said.

"It is a strange way to start the cricket season but I'm determined to score as many runs as possible.

"I am playing under pressure because if I step out of line at all, they will come down on me like a tonne of bricks."

Mr Lovell lodged a complaint with the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) after he lost a High Court action against the ban in May.

He claimed PCCC was stalling until his two-month ban was over.

However, the club denied the allegation and said they had been waiting for Mr Lovell to contact them.

Official records show Mr Lovell's average of 199.6 runs per game last season was the highest of any cricketer in England and Wales.

He played for Wales in a Minor Counties League fixture at Lamphey earlier this week, scoring 58 and 23 in his two innings.

Mr Lovell had admitted swearing and making offensive marks but he had contested the ban on the grounds the original disciplinary hearing by PCCC last September was not fairly held.

Goodwill gesture

He was banned for 18 weeks to cover the 2002 season with the second half of the period suspended.

But Mr Justice Neuberger, sitting in Haverfordwest County Court last month, said Mr Lovell had not fully exhausted PCCC's appeals procedure.

He also commented that, as a gesture of goodwill, PCCC should allow Mr Lovell to play until an appeal hearing was held.

But John Green, secretary of Lamphey cricket club, said the club is looking forward to Lovell's return.

He said: "As last year's champions, we are languishing near the bottom of the league.

"I'm resigned that PCCC had no intention of allowing an appeal by a fair process and their offer was just window dressing.

"I've still received no explanation as to why they first of all offered a district judge to chair an appeal panel and then, at the 11th hour, withdrew that offer.

Mr Lovell was offered a contract to play in the south wales league but the ban prevented him from doing so.

Mr Lovell, who lost his job with the recent closure of ITV Digital call centre in Pembroke Dock, now faces a legal bill of several thousand pounds.

The ban expired on 29 June.


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