Cricketer exposed in game's latest scandal

Click to follow
The Independent Online

As if cricket didn't have enough problems, with the Hansie Cronje scandal unfolding in South Africa, there was an even more dramatic revelation for the sport to get to grips with yesterday.

Turn to page 657 of the 2000 edition of Wisden, the cricketers' almanack, and look along the middle row of the Leicestershire team photograph. There it is, the spinner Matthew Brimson, 29, apparently demonstrating his skill at pulling out his middle stump.

Matthew Engel, Wisden's editor, was not amused by Brimson's antics, describing his display as "an insult to supporters. If you are going to pull this kind of stunt, you need to be a more competent professional sportsman than Matthew Brimson and, frankly, more impressively arrayed," Mr Engel said.

Brimson does, indeed, appear to be better at flashing than he is at cricket. His slow left-arm spin brought only 22 wickets in his 13 appearances last season.

"Even when we increased the size of the picture, after being tipped off, we couldn't be certain that we had seen what we thought we had seen," Mr Engel said. "If everyone's right,It's a very poor comment on Leicestershire County Cricket Club and professional cricketers in general. It's the supporters who have been insulted, not Wisden."

Brimson's show may not be impressive, but it is clear enough for his county to issue an apology. "We have had a meeting with Matthew Brimson and we have accepted his explanation that it is simply not in his character to do anything that would cause offence," it said. "Matthew Brimson wishes to apologise to anyone who may have misinterpreted the published photograph."

In the light of such all-round disapproval, perhaps Brimson's future is in his own hands.