March 3, 2001

Gough involved in confrontation with Sri Lanka player

Five days after Nasser Hussain called for discipline from his players following a turbulent Test Match in Galle, Darren Gough has become embroiled in a confrontation with a Sri Lankan player at Welagedara Stadium today.

Gough bumped into Indika de Saram and tumbled onto the ground as he tried to prevent a single in his seventh over. Clearly furious he marched up to de Saram wagging his finger and had words with the batsman for blocking him. He then snatched his sunglasses from umpire T.M. Samarasinghe.

As he returned to his fielding position at third man Nasser Hussain pulled his premier fast bowler to the side and appeared to suggest that Gough leave the field to cool down. Gough denies this in a statement released to the media.

"Although it may have appeared otherwise to the spectators, I can honestly say that Nasser Hussain did not send me off the field following the incident. I had always intended to leave the field at the end of my spell as I was suffering from a stiff back and needed to get some treatment."

Gough played down the incident: "I was upset because I felt that the batsman had intentionally impeded me as I was going for a run out. I was involved in a similar incident with a Sri Lankan player in Australia in 1999 and I did not want the same thing to happen again."

On his way to the dressing Gough said something to umpire Samarasinghe. According to Gough: "I asked the umpire to warn the player because I did not want to get into a dispute with him."

The umpire refused to comment afterwards, but Indika de Saram confirmed that the players had collided and that Gough had verbally abused him. He said afterwards: "I don't speak very good English but I recognised the 'F' word."

The Colts XI coach is considering reporting the incident to the Sri Lankan board.

Gough was reported to the Sri Lankan board during the first game of the tour, in Colombo, for confronting two schoolboys after being given out.