Players angry about Symonds

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The Independent Online

Andrew Symonds, the 20-year-old who yesterday turned down England, has been voted Young Player of the Year by his fellow county professionals. Dominic Cork, a leading figure in England's 2-2 drawn series against the West Indies this summer, receives the Player of the Year award.

Both players were honoured at last night's Professional ers' Association dinner at the Cafe Royal in London but the Symonds situation has angered players. Afterwards David Graveney, general secretary of the association, said his members had expressed concern about the question of Symonds' registration, "especially now he has been offered a three-year contract by Gloucestershire. I have been asked as a matter of urgency to present the players' views to the Test and County Board."

Symonds turned down the chance to play for England A in Pakistan. In a pre-season questionnaire released by Queensland, his response when asked what he would like to be doing in 10 years' time was: "Playing cricket for Australia."

Symonds, who moved from Birmingham to Australia when he was two, has been offered a three-year contract by Gloucestershire who insist he should be classified as English for county purposes. The PCA debated the issue yesterday, 24 hours after the chairman of selectors, Ray Illingworth, indicated Symonds would would not be selected again.

Cork, the Derbyshire all-rounder, was pushed hard for the award by the leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who this summer has taken more than 100 wickets for Northamptonshire.

n Hampshire's Norman Cowans and Tony Middleton have announced their retirement. Cowans, 34, has been forced to quit by a persistent back injury while Middleton, 31, will become the county's development officer.