Cricketer suspended over match incident

Published on the Cambridge Evening News web-site on September 7, 2004; original article

A cricketer has been suspended after an incident which left a teenage opponent with injuries to his face.

Tony Desimone batting 
against Cambridge/St Giles II on July 24, 2004.

Pitch battle: Match turned violent.

Michael Butt, who plays for Elsworth Cricket Club, was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) following an incident in their home match against Cambridge St Giles II. Police are also investigating the incident and confirmed a boy had been hurt.

It is believed that the incident started when a 14-year-old bowler playing for St Giles dismissed Mr Butt. The batsman then allegedly reacted and eyewitnesses reported that a fracas developed, leaving the boy with facial bruising and a cut lower lip. Mr Butt's brother Andy then became involved and the pair had to be pulled away by players from both sides.

ECB media manager, Mark Hodgson, said: "I can confirm Michael Butt has been suspended from all cricket activities by the ECB due to child protection issues, pending the outcome of a police investigation." This means he can not play, coach, or even take part in a practice session. His brother has been suspended by the Cambridgeshire Cricket Association.

Justin Pearce, Cambridge St Giles chairman, was not at the game on Saturday, August 28, but said: "The incident was reported to the Cambridgeshire Cricket Association. We understand there could be criminal action pending and it would be inappropriate to comment further." He said the family of the young bowler did not want to make a comment at this time.