In the final round of group matches during the 1979 Benson & Hedges Cup, a one-day cricket competition, Somerset County Cricket Club faced Worcestershire County Cricket Club at New Road, Worcester, on 24 May 1979. The result of the match would help to determine which teams progressed to the quarter-finals. If Somerset lost and Glamorgan won their match, Somerset, Worcestershire and Glamorgan would have been level on points; bowling strike rate would have then been used as a tie-breaker. The Somerset team, led by their captain, Brian Rose, realised that if they batted first and declared the innings closed after just one over, it would protect their strike rate advantage to guarantee their qualification. Somerset scored one run from their over and declared; Worcestershire took ten deliveries to score the two runs they needed to win. The match was completed in 18 minutes, and consisted of only 16 legal deliveries.
Although Somerset’s declaration was within the laws of the game, Rose was condemned by the press and cricket officials. The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack claimed that Rose had “sacrificed all known cricketing principles by deliberately losing the game”. Just over a week after the match, the Test and County Cricket Board met for an emergency session and voted to eject Somerset from the competition by a vote of seventeen to one. Cricket’s rules were later changed to ban declarations in professional one-day cricket, although a similar incident occurred in club cricket in 2017.