Gibbs agrees treatment for alcohol abuse to save career

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The Independent Online

The South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs will enter a month-long alcohol rehabilitation programme starting on Monday. Gibbs announced his decision after appearing in court on charges of drunk-driving. The case was postponed until March.

The 34-year-old was sent home from the national squad in shame last month for breaking a team curfew the day before South Africa were to play Bangladesh in a Twenty20 international. Cricket South Africa said he would only be selected in future if he agreed to undergo rehabilitation for alcohol abuse. Gibbs has a history of poor discipline, having been banned for six months in 2001 for accepting money to underperform in the Hansie Cronje match-fixing saga. Gibbs will not be eligible for South Africa or his Cape Cobras team until the second week of January and will miss part of the series against Australia.

The pace bowler Simon Jones could be fit for next year's Ashes series after his county club Worcestershire said he will return to action for the start of the English season in April. The 29-year-old was an integral part of the 2005 team that beat Australia 2-1 to win the Ashes for the first time in 18 years but has barely played since injuring his ankle in February 2006. That was followed by a serious knee injury, which restricted his performances up until last season. Even so, he still managed 42 wickets for an average of 18 runs for Worcestershire, generating pace of more than 90 mph.