North Canberra-Gungahlin president Phil Coe says the club has had “significant internal conversations” following a player’s six-match ban for a racial slur.
A Norths player was charged for making two alleged racist remarks in his side’s first innings win against Weston Creek Molonglo at Harrison Oval on February 3.
He was facing four changes but had two dropped when he faced the Cricket ACT disciplinary tribunal.
The player has since been ineligible to play in any grade and has been rubbed out of contention to play in the last round of the Douglas Cup against Eastlake at Kingston Oval on Saturday.
Coe hopes Cricket ACT remain consistent in their approach to similar behaviour across the competition, believing “there are improvements to be made for next season”.
Senior Norths players and officials have spoken with the charged player to make him aware that his actions were not acceptable.
His teammates were shocked at the time and he has made clear he regrets making the comments.
Weston Creek Molonglo’s charge alleged the player had made four separate comments but two of those were thrown out by the tribunal.
“Anyone who is reported should be held accountable for what actually happened. In the case there was a breach of code where [the player] deserved to meet those consequences,” Coe said.
“We’re certainly not defending him in regard to any racial slur and saying that it’s okay, but in the case that actually happened a couple of weeks ago there was disagreement about what actually happened.
“He has been given a six-match sentence and we are not appealing that decision. He was found guilty of making an inappropriate comment and we accept that, we’re not fighting it from that side of things.”
A Weston Creek Molonglo spokesman says the club has opted to respect the process and wait before making any comment.
Cricket ACT chief executive Cameron French declined to comment, but the governing body confirmed an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
The suspension will carry over into the 2018-19 season, given there is just four weekends of cricket remaining this season and Norths aren’t a certainty to make the finals.
Norths are locked in a tight battle to hold on to fourth spot on the ladder with first-placed Eastlake standing in their way with an eye on a minor premiership.
Queanbeyan and Weston Creek Molonglo’s clash could be a rehearsal for next week’s semi-finals, which will be played as a three-day match beginning on Friday.
Tuggeranong and Ginninderra will look to force their way into finals contention when they face each other at Chisholm Oval, where a first innings win for either side could be enough to guarantee a top four berth.
Western District-UC remain a mathematical chance but their clash with ANU shapes as little more than a consolation battle at Jamison Oval.
Both sides are preparing to bring down the curtain on underwhelming two-day campaigns following their limited overs heroics that delivered a Twenty20 title to Wests and a one-day grand final appearance to the Owls.
CRICKET ACT DOUGLAS CUP
Saturday: Round 14 – Western District-UC v ANU at Jamison Oval, Eastlake v North Canberra-Gungahlin at Kingston Oval, Queanbeyan v Weston Creek Molonglo at Freebody Oval, Tuggeranong v Ginninderra at Chisholm Oval. Play starts at 11am.