Blackpool cricket pro banned

Christi Viljoen
Christi Viljoen
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Blackpool Cricket Club will be without professional Christi Viljoen for this weekend’s Northern Premier League double-header after the Namibian all-rounder was banned over a row with an umpire.

The incident occurred during last Sunday’s Readers Cup victory over Netherfield.

Blackpool captain Paul Danson told The Gazette: “Christi had a run-in with umpire Barry Evans and has received a level four ban, which rules him out of this weekend’s games.”

The Gazette understands a disciplinary hearing will be held next week, though a date had not been finalised last night.

Champions Blackpool wasted no time in securing a substitute pro for this afternoon’s home clash with Morecambe.

Rishton CC’s 25-year-old South African all-rounder Kelly Smuts, who ironically played for Morecambe last season, will face his former club at Stanley Park today.

Danson added: “We weren’t sure at first that we’d be allowed a sub pro, so when we got permission we had to act fast.”

Pool were still striving last night to recruit a sub pro for tomorrow’s rematch with Netherfield in Cumbria.

Viljoen was the league’s top wicket-taker last season and so far has 30 victims for 2015.