16 October 1998

Cork could resign as captain at Derby

By Neil Hallam

THE political in-fighting, which created so much upheaval for Derbyshire last year, broke out again yesterday when Dominic Cork served written notice that he would resign the captaincy unless his complete authority on playing matters was restored.

In a lengthy statement issued with an endorsement from the chairman Vic Brownett, Cork claimed that the authority promised him when he took over the captaincy a year ago had been "challenged and overturned".

He explained: "I advised the cricket committee to make cuts in the existing staff to create room in the budget for the recruitment of the senior players needed to maintain the progress made last summer, when we improved by six places in the championship and reached the final of the NatWest Trophy.

"Instead, all expiring contracts were renewed and the staff was extended to 23 with the appointment, against my wishes, of two local club cricketers."

Cork was also frustrated when the cricket committee rejected his request for the position of first-team coach to go to the former captain Kim Barnett, who took over the job on an informal basis from Andy Hayhurst in mid-summer.

Cork singled out Harold Rhodes, a member of the cricket and general committees, for criticism, claiming Rhodes's attitude was "domineering and unhelpful".

Cork alleged that the former England fast bowler was responsible for causing "distress and embarrassment" to him on more than one occasion last season.

Cork said: "I have tried to be patient and reasonable and have deliberately avoided confrontation, but my position has become so compromised that I can accept it no longer."

Rhodes commented: "I have only one vote and all these decisions were reached democratically."

Shane Warne and his Victoria team-mates have signed a no-drink pledge in the build-up to and during Sheffield Shield matches at the instigation of their coach John Scholes. The club are sponsored by Carlton and United Breweries.

Source :: Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)