Cricket: Assault by England fans puts Healy in hospital

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The Independent Online
The Australian wicketkeeper, Ian Healy, has had his nose broken after allegedly being attacked by two English cricket fans. Healy was apparently assaulted by the two England supporters in the early hours of Wednesday morning following a team party at theHyatt hotel in Perth.

The general manager of the hotel said that one of his security guards had seen Healy speaking amiably to the fans for about 10 minutes when one of them suddenly head-butted him. "The guard saw Ian chatting away with the pair for a good 10 minutes and they seemed to be having a good conversation when one of the guys, for no reason, simply head-butted him," said the manager, George Benney. "We called the police and Ian made a statement before he went to hospital to be checked."

Healy declined to take the matter further and was allowed to fly home to Brisbane later that day after being treated at the Royal Perth Hospital. He had been part of the Australian party staying at the Hyatt, where a team dinner was held on Tuesday nightto celebrate the Ashes Test series victory over England.

Healy then went out for several hours. He returned to thehotel by taxi, at 2.30am he said, before striking up a conversation with the two England supporters in front of the hotel.

Benney revealed that security guards had been watching the two men because they had been standing around the hotel entrance.

However, Healy's place on Australia's short tour of New Zealand, which starts next week, is not under threat though the Test team manager, Ian McDonald, said that he had heard nothing about the incident.

Laurie Sawle, the Australian chairman of selectors, who had seen Healy off at the airport, also expressed surprise after being told of the attack by the two fans.

"I've heard nothing at all," Sawle said. "I saw Ian at the airport and he didn't look to me like he had a broken nose."

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