Malcolm puts future on line after outburst

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Devon Malcolm is likely to face harsh disciplinary reaction after publicly accusing Raymond Illingworth, the England manager, of destroying his confidence.

In a newspaper interview published yesterday, the England fast bowler described the current tour of South Africa as "the worst three months of my life".

Malcolm, who returned to England before the start of the current series of one-day internationals, claimed he had been continually sworn at, picked on and humiliated by Illingworth, so much so that only the support of his team-mates had stopped him quitting the tour.

"All that abusing was very unfair and no way to treat anybody," he was quoted as saying in the Daily Express. "I have to ask: would this have happened if I had been a white bowler?"

England flew yesterday from Johannesburg to Durban, where the fifth one- day international against South Africa will be played tomorrow. Illingworth said: "I've enough on my plate over here to worry about him."

However, a Test and County Board spokesman, Richard Little, called Malcolm's racial remark "offensive".

Malcolm, whose comments are apparently a breach of his tour contract, said last night that he had no regrets about making his row with Illingworth a race issue. "I only asked a question," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "As the only black man, there were a lot of things I had to do and the manager could have given me a lot more support.

"I was thrown in at the deep end at press conferences and things like that. I thought it would be the first two or three weeks of the tour and after that I could concentrate on cricket.

"I thought that was the time when, if they were thinking forward, they would give me support, but that was when they really attacked me, so I wondered what was going on."

Malcolm said he hoped to continue his England career, despite his criticism of Illingworth. "I always live in hope," he said.

Derbyshire members were said to be planning to send a letter of protest concerning Malcolm's treatment by the England management to the TCCB. Derbyshire's former captain, Kim Barnett, said: "We're all disappointed really, disappointed in Devon's portrayal as someone of no intelligence and as a cricketing nonentity."

Malcolm's troubles, page 23

Zimbabwe struggle, page 21