|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Wisden Cricinfo staff
June 26, 2003
Dominic Cork, the Derbyshire captain, has claimed that there is a "culture of cheating" in the modern game which is threatening cricket's image.
Cork's outburst came after Derbyshire were eliminated from the Twenty20 Cup following their one-run defeat by Leicestershire on Tuesday. The match was steeped in controversy as Leicestershire's Brad Hodge appeared to have stepped over the boundary rope while taking a catch to dismiss Steve Selwood in the penultimate over. The umpires consulted Hodge and then upheld the decision. Derbyshire immediately lodged a protest, but the England & Wales Cricket Board declined to intervene.
"It's down to the win-at-all costs attitudes and blatant cheating which are making cricket more like football with every season, and which I hate," Cork fumed. "In football it's diving, shirt-pulling, conning refs and feigning injury. In cricket, it is claiming catches on the bounce, pretending that the ball hasn't gone over the rope and players standing their ground when they've thick-edged it to slip.
"Hundreds of people saw Hodge run several feet over the rope, and thousands more have now seen him doing it on television," Cork continued. "But when the umpire asked whether he had stayed inside the line he insisted that he had and he said the same to me, which is why I called him a cheat to his face. In fact [umpire] Roy Palmer immediately confirmed that it should have been six if Hodge had then run over the line but he had no alternative but to put the fielder on his word of honour.
"The problem is there's precious little honour in the game these days and I'm very disappointed that Leicestershire's captain, Phil DeFreitas, didn't intervene when it was so obvious what had happened."
Cork also slammed the "totally dismissive response" from the ECB's chief executive, Tim Lamb. "His attitude was pathetic," said Cork. "When interviewed he made it sound like we were naughty, squealing schoolboys rather than professionals raising a serious concern about the honesty and spirit of the game."
DeFreitas denied that Hodge had done anything untoward: "Brad took the catch and turned to celebrate with the crowd. Derbyshire are claiming he crossed the boundary rope but the ball was under his control and the catch had been completed."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The veteran spinner's dream spell against Australia in 2003 symbolised a brief golden period for Kenya, but since his retirement, the country's cricket has nose-dived
Plays of the Day from the Champions League T20 match between Chennai Super Kings and Perth Scorchers, in Bangalore
Ashwell Prince talks about proving critics wrong, scoring hundreds against Australia, and that unending partnership in Colombo
Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Dolphins and Lahore Lions in Bangalore
The Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Kings XI Punjab and Northern Knights, in Mohali
Cricket should look to not only shore up struggling and emerging cricketing nations but also to export the game with entrepreneurial vigour
West Indies' ODI squad for India is surprisingly light on spin, but the tour is an opportunity for Samuels and Russell to make strong comebacks
Without more fixtures with Full Members, they can't get more funds. Without funds, they can't keep their players
Though derided and sometimes ridiculed, county cricket still holds the key for the future of the game in England and if all involved believed in it just a little more, it could produce an even greater harvest