Adams adds to Sussex misery

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The Independent Online

There was an appropriately chilly finish to this match, with a sea fret billowing in from the English Channel which wreathed the square and the players in ghostly grey, mercifully drawing a veil over the last rites of Sussex's abject submission.

There had been an edge to proceedings since Saturday - or perhaps even from last season when, in the final match Sussex's captain Chris Adams had accused Warwickshire of "blatant cheating" in their pitch preparation as his side slumped to defeat in two days.

At least this time they managed to drag the match into the final day, although only by 79 minutes as the last four wickets - correction, three, as Will House fell to the day's third ball, bowled by the Warwickshire captain Neil Smith - attempted some token resistance.

Once again Adams was involved in controversy. This time the umpires were the target. On Saturday, after being given out lbw for the second time in the match by the same umpire, David Constant - the country's most experienced official, having been appointed to the First-Class List in 1969 - Adams went to the umpires' room during the tea interval to express his displeasure. "That was wrong," admitted Adams yesterday. "I should have waited until after the end of play." At least when he made his second visit to the room at the close he had the decency, according to Constant, to apologise.

"The first time he wasn't happy with the decision," said the 58-year-old Constant, who stood in 36 Tests between 1971 and 1988. "He just came in and said he wanted to make it clear how he felt. Then he came to apologise after play."

But the damage may have been done. While he did not indicate that a separate report on the incident would be submitted to the England and Wales Cricket Board, Constant did add: "We make a match report after every game. I think we can safely say he [Adams] will get a mention in dispatches."

For his part Adams was hoping the affair was over, but he did say: "If he [Constant] feels he has to report me then that is fine. I will take the consequences. But he accepted my apology which I hope is the end of the matter." His county is unlikely to carpet Adams, not if the chief executive David Gilbert's comments are anything to go by. "He reacted in a way which was regrettable, but he has apologised," was his comment. "Chris is not a malicious or spiteful bloke. He is well respected and it appears at the moment the tiniest incident seems to be magnified."

The only bright spot for Sussex was a career best of 39 for Jason Lewry, the pace bowler, who was eighth man out on 233.

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