GKT Cricket Club and KCL Cricket Club’s rivalry accelerates

KCLCC has accused GKTCC of harassment, while GKTCC says that no KCLSU policies were violated

During these unprecedented times, tensions have been running high at university… and this has seemed to impact King’s cricket societies. GKT Cricket Club, which was awarded KCLSU Club of the Year 2020, has been accused of harassment, defamation, and a host of other deeds by the KCL Cricket Club.

The rivalry between the two cricket clubs reached its peak on Monday when GKTCC made a post on Instagram entitled ‘KCLCC DEBUNKED’. The post appeared to be an attempt to promote their club by drawing comparisons between their club and KCLCC. KCLCC, however, states that the claims made in the post are falsehoods.

The Instagram post published by GKTCC on Monday 28th September

KCLCC’s statement to the Tab King’s said: “We, KCLCC, were very disappointed to see the degrading post that GKTCC had posted yesterday on their Instagram. While we respect GKTCC on the pitch and have tried to maintain an on-field competitive spirit and an off-field friendly rapport with them, to take it off the pitch and to conduct themselves in such an unsportsmanlike way was very saddening to see.”

KCLCC additionally stated that they consider the post ‘a deliberate attempt to attack us, and belittle and undermine our club’. They also said that in accusing KCLCC of lying, GKTCC has ‘lied themselves’.

One particularly harsh issue for KCLCC was when the criticism of the team’s coaches in the Instagram post. KCLCC has said that since these individuals are respected external coaches hired by the club, they shouldn’t be drawn into rivalry between university teams. Additionally, KCLCC confirms that these coaches are ECB Level 3 coaches and have played for England.

Furthermore, KCLCC told The King’s Tab that they have ‘worked really hard to get the coaches on board this year,’ and the coaches ‘are appalled that GKTCC passed such comments about their professional capacity’.

Following the Instagram post, KCLCC says that numerous other KCL sports clubs sent supportive messages to KCLCC. Some KCL sports clubs even left comments critiquing GKTCC on their Instagram post.

When the post’s comments began to attract criticism, GKTCC first deleted all negative comments before later deleting the post entirely.

GKT Cricket Club posted a response to the situation on their Instagram story earlier today. The story states that they are “aware of the offence caused” regarding their post, and “have taken the decision to take it down.” They go on to say that their intention was to “dispel rumours” and “false claims about the club,” and that they “apologise for any offence caused.”

In response to the Instagram post and various other incidents, KCLCC has decided to pen a letter to KCLSU calling for an investigation of GKTCC into various issues, including harassment of members, public slander of their club, and defamation of their professional cricket coaches.

The final incident that KCLCC has taken offence to, and plans to bring to the KCLSU’s notice is GKTCC’s claim that they won the LUSL this season, in spite of it being cancelled due to COVID-19.

The Tab King’s contacted the GKT Cricket Club for comment on the situation. Speaking to The Tab King’s, GKTCC’s President stated: “We are aware of the offence caused by our post on Monday night – and while we deeply regret the offence caused, we wholeheartedly condemn KCLCC’s actions at the KCLSU Freshers Fair. Lying in order to mislead freshers into joining their club is unethical.”

They went on to say that their Instagram post “was seen by Alex Cole and Michael Pym, who both felt that the post did not violate any of KCLSU’s policies.” Regarding the LUSL 2020 match, the GKTCC President said that while it was not an official LUSL competition, the club “had referred to the competition as the ‘unofficial LUSL’ competition several times before.”

KCLSU has not been publically involved in the matter between the two cricket teams, and no disciplinary action has been taken against either team. King’s students can only hope that the teams put aside their differences and work towards making KCL’s sports societies a welcoming space during these extraordinary times.

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