Cricket: Emburey pays price for a dismal season

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A DISMAL season yesterday cost John Emburey his job as Northamptonshire's chief coach. The 46-year-old former England spinner had one year of his four-year contract left to run, but has paid the price - along with Kevin Curran, who was sacked as captain last week - for the club's showing this summer.

Northamptonshire finished 15th in the County Championship, 13th in the AXA League, and made early exits from the Benson and Hedges Cup and NatWest Trophy.

"Difficult decisions have to be made when they're felt to be in the best interests of the club," Steve Coverdale, the chief executive, said.

"We felt that for both the club and for John to move forward, it was appropriate that the relationship should end now, rather than continue for another year. There is no obvious candidate [to replace Emburey] at present. We need to stop and draw breath."

Emburey, who accepted that the players might benefit for a change of leadership, will now concentrate on preparing for the England A tour, and "spending some time with my family who I've hardly seen over the past couple of years".

Glenn Turner, the former New Zealand coach, has launched a savage attack on some of the country's most prominent players, including Chris Cairns and Martin Crowe.

Turner was sacked as national coach at the end of the 1995-96 season. Following the statutory two-year silence clause, he pulls no punches in his book Lifting the Covers.

Crowe, the finest batsman in New Zealand history, is described as moody and petulant. "He's about as temperamental as a cricketer can be, and I'm talking about heights Himalayan."

Cairns, who took his 100th Test wicket this year, is depicted as spoilt. "Cairns always left one with the impression that he felt he'd been wronged, perpetually."

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