ICC confirms James Vince, Liam Dawson cannot play Royal London Cup final

Hampshire have been unsuccessful in their efforts to secure the availability of James Vince and Liam Dawson for Saturday’s Royal London Cup final after both were named in England’s World Cup squad, after the ICC confirmed that its regulations would not allow them to play.

The county entered into discussions with the ECB and the ICC in an attempt to have the pair released for the match at Lord’s despite the game taking place on the same day as England’s warm-up match against Australia at the Ageas Bowl. However, Hampshire soon resigned themselves to the fact they would be without their captain and spinning allrounder when they take on Somerset.

An ECB spokesperson said: “ECB made representations to ICC on behalf of the board and Hampshire Cricket in an attempt to ensure Liam Dawson and James Vince were available for their county for the Royal London One-Day Cup final.

“ICC regulations around global tournaments are clear that squad players are not permitted to play in domestic cricket after the start of the Support Period (May 23) and while we understand the ICC decision we are nevertheless disappointed that it will lead to two leading international players missing our showpiece domestic final at Lord’s.”

Vince, Hampshire’s captain and leading run-scorer in the competition, tweeted his disappointment on Tuesday at not being able to play.

“As it stands they are not available due to ICC regulations,” England’s national selector, Ed Smith, said earlier in the day. “But I also understand that Hampshire and the ECB are going to do whatever they can to make a case that they would be released if indeed they aren’t required by England. But, as it stands, they are not available. It falls within the support period.”

Following confirmation of the ICC position, Hampshire chairman, Rod Bransgrove, said: “Obviously this is very disappointing from the club’s point of view. I am grateful to the ECB and we accept the decision. We have done everything we can but the ICC is robust in its regulations.”

Speaking during Hampshire’s fixture at Newport on the Isle of Wight, Bransgrove had suggested the main sticking point was possibly in the fact that England would not be able to replace them if either player sustained an injury while at Lord’s.

“Hampshire and the ECB have made a joint-submission to the ICC’s technical committee to see if we can get a special dispensation to play the players in the final on Saturday and we await their response,” he said. “I understand there was a precedent set during a World Cup in Australia but I don’t know the full details of that.”

“If the ECB are successful in this application and the player becomes available, the selectors still have to make a decision as to whether or not he is selected for the game against Australia or freed to play in the cup final. My understanding is that if they were free to play in the cup final and they incurred an injury that would prevent them playing further cricket, the fact that they had been playing in a domestic competition and not a squad tournament would probably mean that England couldn’t replace them with another player.”

Both Vince and Dawson were additions to England’s 15-man squad, having not made the preliminary cut in April. Vince came in as a direct replacement for Alex Hales, after the reserve opener failed a drugs test, while Dawson’s Royal London Cup form helped him leapfrog Joe Denly for the reserve spinner spot.

Both players were integral to Hampshire, the cup holders, reaching a second successive Lord’s final. Vince had led the way with the bat, scoring 509 runs at 72.71, while Dawson claimed 18 wickets at 20.33 as well as averaging 45.66.

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