Alteration in MyCricket by Trent Polglase from United Sports Slasher Cricket Club
On Wednesday 15 May 2019, an open forum was held at Club Macquarie. This forum was held to discuss many matters regarding the current administration of the NCSCA, in response to concerns raised by an anonymous group referring themselves as the “NCSCA Players Page”.
During this forum, Trent Polglase and Grant Hutchings asked questions regarding a judiciary decision to suspend Trent Polglase for 12 playing days. It is noted that Mr Polglase was asked if he wanted details of the matter read to the guests at the open forum, which he agreed.
At the conclusion, forum attendees requested this information be sent to all clubs and posted on the Association website.
This summary provides a formal response regarding the suspension of Mr Polglase for the information of all clubs.
Trent Polglase plays for United Sports Slasher Cricket Club in the B3 grade.
Trent Polglase was requested to appear before the Judiciary on 4 March 2019 to answer Section 4.10 code of Conduct charge, following the identification of unusual changes made in MyCricket following the completion of Round 20 of the competition. Also appearing before the judiciary panel was Grant Hutchings (also of the United Sports Slashers) who faced the same charge.
Mr Polglase was found guilty of deliberate actions regarding alterations in MyCricket, undertaken with the intention of qualifying one of his better players for the finals. The judiciary found it was calculated, well thought through and it was not a mistake. Had these alterations not been picked up in a routine check prior to the finals, an unqualified player would have been eligible for selection had his team reached the grand final.
There was no evidence to indicate that Mr Hutchings had knowledge or involvement in the alterations in MyCricket, due to this his charge was dismissed.
Mr Polglase received a 12 playing days suspension, with a further 48 playing day suspended sentence.
Mr Hutchings gave evidence that he had no knowledge of the changes made in MyCricket by Mr Polglase. He informed the Judiciary that he was unavailable to play the semi-final and preliminary final as he was away. He did however confirm if his team did progress to the Grand Final, he would be available for selection. Mr Hutchings also noted that regardless of availability he would not take the position of another player who had played more games than himself that year. The judiciary found no evidence to suggest Hutchings was complicit with Mr Polglase and his charge was dismissed.
Mr Polglase initially advised the judiciary that he was unaware why he was requested to attend, however indicated that he thought it had something to do with MyCricket results. Mr Polglase was informed by the judiciary that the hearing related to altering MyCricket results.
Mr Polglase denied any knowledge or wrong doing and offered no explanation regarding changes made to MyCricket results. It was only when Mr Polglase was informed that a MyCricket data audit had been conducted on the Rd 20 match that he indicated having a full recollection of events.
Mr Polglase then admitted that he added Mr Hutchings to the records of a completed game as a mistake, and did not have time to rectify his mistake. Mr Polglase confirmed he is the only person from his club with access to MyCricket and no other person has access to his log on details.
The audit indicated the following sequence of events in MyCricket: -
7.59pm - (week prior to Rd 20) – Mr Polglase selected his team of 16 players for Rd 20. Hutchings was selected in the 16 players.
8.51pm - (after the completion of the Rd 20). Mr Polglase selected his team. The original 16 players named on 16/2/19 was reduced to 11 players. The team included T. Bennison (the player who will later be removed from MyCricket records). Mr Hutchings was removed from the initial list which selected 16 players.
Critically, the Rd 20 matchday scorebook was sighted by the judiciary which confirmed that Mr Bennison played in the match, and Mr Hutchings did not play in the match. At this point, the MyCricket results reflected the matchday scorebook.
9.07pm – Mr Polglase entered player scores for Rd 20
9.08pm – Mr Polglase entered opposition scores for Rd 20
9.10pm – Mr Polglase confirmed the match for Rd 20
9.38pm – Mr Polglase selected 16 players for next week’s Rd 21 match
This all occurred on 23/2/19, evening of Rd 20 match after he entered the Rd 20 match results.
Sat 2/03/2019 (1 week later – morning of Round 21 game).
12.28am - Mr Polglase accessed MyCricket and logged into Rd 21 (as this was the current round). He selected 12 players for the Rd 21 game which was played later that day.
12.37am – (still the early morning of the Rd 21 match) Mr Polglase accessed Round 20 results and added player Hutchings to the team for the completed Round 20 match.
12:38am – Mr Polglase entered player Hutchings as the No.2 batsman and then entered the method of dismissal for Hutchings and the runs scored (3). This was the same score and method of dismissal of player Bennison as originally entered in MyCricket by Mr Polglase, as indicated on the matchday scorebook.
12:39am – Mr Polglase removed player Bennison from the Round 20 MyCricket results.
Mr Polglase advised the judiciary that this change was made at 12:40pm, and that the changes were made accidentally. The audit report confirms that this change was made at 12:40am (not pm).
To make the changes (i.e. substitution of one player for another) is a multiple step process, including:
“Player scores have been entered for the following players. If you remove these players from the team their data will be lost. To continue, check the confirmation checkbox below then click the Update button again.”
12:48am – Mr Polglase returned from Round 20 to Round 21 and selected his team for the Round 21 game scheduled for later that day.
Player removed - BENNISON – 8 GAMES, 29 RUNS @ 4.1, H.S 12
Overall club matches - 30 GAMES 162 RUNS @ 6.0, 16 H.S,
Player added - HUTCHINGS – 4 GAMES, 119 RUNS @ 29.8, H.S 45no
Overall club matches - 86 GAMES, 2158 RUNS @ 27.32, H.S 171
The judiciary were unanimous in their assessment that Mr Polglase deliberately falsified MyCricket results. In doing this Mr Polglase removed a player considered as one of his team’s weaker players (highest score 16), to include Mr Hutchings who is regarded as a very strong player (highest score 171) and the only player in his club who had not played enough matches to qualify for the finals.
The Rd 20 scorebook confirmed Mr Hutchings did not play in that match. An audit on MyCricket revealed how Mr Polglase deliberately altered MyCricket results, which was determined to be an attempt to gain an advantage over opposing teams in finals.
Mr Polglase was found guilty by the judiciary under Section 4.10 Code of Conduct. This charge carries a maximum suspension of 63 playing days. Mr Polglase was suspended for 12 playing days, with an additional 48 playing days suspended sentence added. Mr Polglase will also be permanently removed as an administrator on MyCricket.
The honesty of MyCricket administrators is a fundamental principal which underpins the integrity of cricket, the deliberate violation of this principal was the basis for the suspension imposed by the judiciary.
The length of suspension was based on the judiciary’s assessment that a deliberate act had been committed with the sole intention of gaining an unfair advantage over other teams.
In summary, this is cheating, Mr Polglase provided false evidence to the judiciary and did not acknowledge guilt despite the overwhelming evidence presented at the judiciary hearing.
The judiciary panel did consider disqualifying United Sports Slashers CC from the finals. We believe we made the right decision to allow United Sports Slashers Cricket Club to continue because we did not want to punish innocent players. There is no evidence that any other members of the Slashers CC were involved in this matter.
Appeal of Judiciary Decision
United Sports Slashers CC did not appeal the suspension Mr Polglase received.
Mr Polglase did appeal on his own behalf. The only evidence Mr Polglase provided was a SMS sent to a teammate nominating his semi-final team, which excluded player Hutchings. Mr Hutchings confirmed to the judiciary that he was unavailable to play in the semi-final. This evidence supplied for the appeal was discussed during the initial judiciary hearing and therefore does not qualify as fresh evidence and the appeal was dismissed.
Post Appeal Actions
Mr Polglase has since contacted Cricket NSW regarding his suspension, which they have requested the Newcastle Zone to make further enquiries. It is anticipated that at the next Newcastle Zone meeting in June 2019 a date will be set by the Zone Administrator for the NCSCA to present their process in how the sentences were set.
A copy of this judiciary summary will be forwarded to Cricket NSW, Cricket Australia, Newcastle Zone to advise them of the basis for the judiciary decision and the process by which Mr Polglase was found guilty.
It is hoped that this summary provides all clubs with an understanding of this matter and the reasons for the suspension imposed by the judiciary. Any feedback is welcome to improve our processes and ensure that clubs have the confidence and support of the Association.