The entire Horsham Cricket Association board has resigned, citing the toll of "personal attacks" and "vitriol" its members had been subjected to since it was announced there would be no 2019-20 season premiers.
The board unanimously decided not to crown two-day premiers in the three senior grades, saying: "to call a team a premiership team in a watershed season where a ball hasn't been delivered in a finals match is not appropriate."
The announcement drew criticism from association players and former administrators on social media.
Comments on the Wimmera Mail-Times' Facebook page accused the association of neglecting its own by-laws and acting without logic. Some of those comments have since been deleted.
"The vitriol and action that has been directed at us by some quarters since the board made this decision has been well outside the expectations set by the spirit of cricket," a Horsham Cricket Association statement read.
"It is clear that there are some who believe they can administer the HCA in a different way and that we no longer enjoy their support to make decisions.
"We strongly refute this, however as this criticism has become personal the current HCA board will be resigning.
"Those people who believe they can do better can now have the opportunity to administer the HCA if the members choose to elect them."
In a letter to clubs sighted by the Wimmera Mail-Times, the association called out "disrespectful" behaviour from some of its clubs.
"The inability of some to understand the clear meaning of the spirit of cricket is disappointing," the letter said.
"The blatant tribalism engaged by some clubs is disrespectful to the HCA and cricket in general. Comments made by some in direct messages and on social media are in poor taste. We only presume these are heat of the moment comments, but there has been no retraction, so that is for the HCA cricket world to judge.
"We have been subjected to personal criticism that is not acceptable to a volunteer board who have dedicated hours to improving and promoting cricket.
"We would like to thank those clubs and players who have provided us with support over the past few days. It is appreciated."
The board statement said its members had always acted with the best interests of the association and the traditions of cricket at heart.
"The current HCA board extends its best wishes to the future of the HCA cricket community and sincerely hopes that this draws a line in what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable when dealing with volunteer boards and the decisions they make," the statement said.
A select group of players was due to attend a streamlined association presentation event on Friday night.
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