Middlesex will be relegated from the County Championship First Division after losing their appeal against a points deduction in a match, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Tuesday.
The 2016 champions were docked two points for slow over-rate during their game against Surrey in August, which was abandoned when a crossbow bolt was fired into The Oval.
The Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) said despite the exceptional circumstances surrounding this fixture the matter did not need referring to a disciplinary panel.
“Middlesex have sought to argue that it was only because of the abandonment of the game that they did not make up their overs but that cannot be entirely correct,” CDC chairman Tim O’Gorman said in a statement.
“There was no guarantee that, if the game had run its normal course those overs could ever have been made up. I do not accept that Middlesex only agreed to the abandonment of the match on condition that their slow over rate in the first innings would be overlooked.”
Middlesex finished one point below Somerset, who were prepared to take legal action if their rivals’ appeal was successful.