Cricket: Tufnell disciplinary date

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The Independent Online
Phil Tufnell faces an anxious wait to discover what impact his failure to supply a specimen during a random drug test has had on his resurgent England career. The Middlesex spinner will appear before an England and Wales Cricket Board disciplinary hearing on Friday 24 October.

The hearing will consider what action to take after Tufnell's failure to supply a specimen for testing at the County Championship match against Essex at Chelmsford.

Tufnell, selected for England's tour to the Caribbean this winter, was one of two players chosen in accordance with the regulations to provide a sample, with team-mate Paul Weekes giving his at lunchtime in the game.

The 31-year-old Tufnell was abroad on holiday when the ECB revealed that he had not supplied a specimen but the Middlesex secretary Joe Hardstaff leapt to his defence, claiming he "simply forgot to take the test and drove off from the ground." Hardstaff was also confident Tufnell, who has been contacted by the club, would have a "perfectly logical explanation" for his actions.

The ECB traditionally takes a hard line with drugs offenders and banned Ed Giddins, the former England A seamer, for 19 months after traces of cocaine were found in his sample.

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