Cricket: TCCB to give Test refunds

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The Independent Online
THE Test and County Cricket Board announced yesterday that it would reimburse spectators who were short-changed by last summer's Test match at Edbaston.

Nearly 14,000 spectators paid pounds 250,000 to watch just two balls on the second day of the first Test between England and Pakistan. A mere three minutes' play was possible because of bad weather - but spectators were unable to reclaim any money under the TCCB's rainy-day rules which stated that money would only be returned in the event of 'no play whatsoever.'

Five spectators took their case to Birmingham County Court last week, a judge deciding that they should each be refunded pounds 15 with pounds 7 costs. Their argument hinged on the fact they had bought their tickets over the phone by credit card and were not informed of the rainy-day rules. Now the TCCB, who has devised a more generous refund arrangement for next summer, has said it will reimburse other supporters who 'can establish they were not aware of the terms of the scheme.'

That would seem to rule out spectators who bought their tickets at the ground and had an opportunity to study the small print. The TCCB spokesman, Ken Lawrence, said: 'We are going to be fair and reasonable about this. We accept our moral responsibility and understood it at the time.'

Since the court hearing last week an average of 10 people a day have telephoned Warwickshire County Cricket Club, the owners of Edgbaston, inquiring about possible refunds, while 'roughly 10 letters' have been sent to the TCCB's offices at Lord's.

'It is impossible to guess how many people will be able to apply for a refund but we don't believe the figure will be that high,' Lawrence said.