Somerset's 12-point pitch penalty deferred to 2021

Somerset were docked 12 points for the pitch used against Essex last season Getty Images

Somerset's 12-point deduction for preparing a 'poor' pitch for their County Championship decider against Essex last season has been rolled over to 2021, the ECB has confirmed.

A Cricket Disciplinary Commission (CDC) panel decided to push the 12-point penalty back a year, with a one-off first-class competition - the Bob Willis Trophy - being staged instead of the Championship this season.

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In a rain-affected game that Somerset had to win in order to overtake Essex, 21 wickets fell in 148 overs, of which 17 were to spin, as the match ended in a draw. A CDC panel ruled that the pitch demonstrated "excessive unevenness of bounce" after meeting at Lord's in November, thus giving it a 'poor' rating under the ECB's pitch regulations.

Somerset accepted the charge at the time, but contested the suggestion that the pitch was not the best they could have produced. "The club are very disappointed with the panel's decision but has concluded that it is in the best interest of all parties to move forward," a club statement said last year.

A further 12 points were suspended for two years in the initial decision, which remain in place for the next two Championship seasons.

Somerset did not contest the proposal to push the penalty back by 12 months, and did not comment publicly.