Derbyshire give backing to Malcolm

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Derbyshire members have voted unanimously at their annual general meeting to send a message of support to Devon Malcolm.

The 32-year-old fast bowler faces a heavy fine and a possible ban for breaching his tour contract with the Test and County Cricket Board by criticising the England management in a series of newspaper articles.

Elaine Sugden, who proposed the Derbyshire motion at the meeting on Tuesday night, said: "Devon might have been silly in what he has done but there's no doubt that he's been through one hell of a time."

Malcolm disagreed with the England manager, Ray Illingworth, and the bowling coach, Peter Lever, over their attempts to alter his run-up and action.

Derbyshire's president, Guy Willatt, said the county decided Malcolm bowled best flat out, even if his wickets came at a high price. "When we tried to make him bowl line and length, he couldn't bowl at all," he said.