Somerset have been docked 24 points after being found guilty of preparing a “poor” pitch for last season’s County Championship decider against Essex.
A hearing at Lord’s found the wicket prepared for the September match had “excessive unevenness of bounce”.
The points deduction will take effect in the 2020 Championship season, but 12 points are suspended for two years.
Somerset have 14 days to appeal against the decision by the England and Wales Cricket Board commission.
A statement on the club website said: “Somerset await the full report from the cricket discipline commission before considering our next course of action.”
Somerset drew their rain-affected Division One match against Essex, a result which handed the visitors the Championship title.
Following an investigation, Somerset were charged with a breach of the regulation which requires that: “Each county shall actively seek to prepare the best quality cricket pitch that it can for the match that it is staging”.
Somerset accepted a pitch rating of “poor” was correct, but pleaded not guilty to a second element of the charge that the Taunton surface “was not the best quality pitch that Somerset was able to prepare for the match”.