Aire-Wharfe Cricket League president Alan Atkinson has warned clubs that discipline must improve in 2013.

In his address to the annual meeeting at Otley Rugby Union Club, he said: “Discipline has been a problem, and was last year.”

Feeling sorry for the league’s disciplinary officer, he added: “He has been on the phone and sending letters backwards and forwards far too much.”

Atkinson’s plea has been backed up by cold, hard facts in secretary Dave Alred’s annual report.

He wrote: “David House reports there have been 22 cases investigated in 2012 - from umpires’ discipline reports or comments made on match-result sheets. These involved 24 players from 12 clubs.

“There have been three disciplinary hearings and six players have been banned from playing cricket for different periods.

“Six players have received bans which have been suspended. There are two cases outstanding (which are included in the 22).”

Alred added: “There were eight more reported cases in 2012 than the previous year. Is this due to an increase in the lack of discipline of players on the field or the fact that that umpires are reporting more cases? I suspect it involves both.

“It is also my view that the umpires provide more detailed information about the case in hand and, if reporting conversations, the exact wording should be used, including any witnesses who heard the comments.

“Also clubs should be encouraged to take disciplinary matters more seriously and deal with the players from their own club in a firmer manner.”