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September 6, 2008
Andrew Flintoff has criticised Lancashire's decision to release Dominic Cork, the former England bowler, at the end of the season. The county had announced last month that they wouldn't offer 37-year-old Cork a contract for the 2009 season in order to promote younger players.
"I've enjoyed playing with Dominic over the years and I wish I was playing with him again next year," Flintoff said. "I was very surprised to hear he was being released and I think Lancashire should have kept him on."
Cork had moved to Old Trafford in 2003 after building his career at Derbyshire. "If you look at that [Lancashire] side, players like Dominic are among the leaders and I'd have him as one of the first names on my team-sheet. It's not just the way he bowls, but it's his presence on the field as well and I'm sure there will be a lot of counties chasing him.
"The best thing that could happen is for someone to turn around and tell him we've made a mistake and keep him at Lancashire, but I'm not sure that is going to happen," he said. "I'm all in favour of bringing younger players on, but they have got to be good enough and have got to perform.
"Dominic is a great influence on the dressing room and I'm sure his presence will be sadly missed. Experience like his doesn't grow on trees, and Lancashire will find it hard to replace him."
Cork had expressed his disappointment at the decision, and even vowed to "come back and haunt Lancashire". The move also didn't find favour with Stuart Law, the Lancashire captain. He said: "Dominic Corks don't come off the conveyer belt. Very few players can do what he does on a cricket field."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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