County news October 2, 2003

Cork signs for Lancashire

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Dominic Cork has joined Lancashire on a three-year deal, after parting with Derbyshire in acrimonious circumstances at the end of last season. Cork, who was a Derbyshire player for 16 years, asked to be released when his role as captain was put in doubt by their new director of cricket, Dave Houghton.

"I am delighted to be joining Lancashire," said Cork. "They have had a great season this year, and I feel sure that the county will go on to greater things. I'm looking forward to working with Mike Watkinson and the rest of the team, I've been impressed with the set-up and I'm confident that it will pay dividends with my game, and hopefully help Lancashire to further success."

Lancashire finished second in this year's County Championship after a late surge up the table, in stark contrast to Derbyshire, whose future as a first-class county is in serious doubt after they finished rock-bottom of the second division. "It is not often a player of Dominic's proven ability comes on to the market," said Lancashire's chairman, Jack Simmons. "I am delighted that he has shown a real desire to join us and add strength to our first team squad."

"I've been very happy with the performance of the team this season," said Mike Watkinson, Lancashire's coach. "However, a player of Dominic's ability will provide additional strength especially to the bowling department, and I'm pleased that Dominic has agreed to join us at Old Trafford. He's a proven performer in all conditions, and with his wealth of experience, he'll be a valuable addition to the dressing room."

Cork, who played the last of his 37 Tests against India at The Oval in 2002, took 131 wickets at 29.81, and was an abrasive lower-order batsman with a proven matchwinning ability - never better demonstrated than by his unbeaten 33 against West Indies in England's two-wicket victory at Lord's in 2000. He currently has 722 first-class wickets to his name.

Two scholarship players, Paul Horton and Oliver Newby, have also signed contracts with Lancashire. Horton, 21, and Newby, 19, both made their first-class debuts against Durham UCCE in 2003, while Newby also played against Derbyshire in the Twenty20 Cup.