Zoehrer scotches sacking claims : Cricket

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The Independent Online
The former Australian Test wicketkeeper, Tim Zoehrer, has cast fresh light on his sacking by Western Australia in a new book published yesterday. In Tim Zoehrer - The Gloves Are Off he denies he was dismissed because the coach, Bob Simpson, suspected he was chasing Simpson's two grown-up daughters, but because he had been accused of stealing a bottle of whisky.

"The reasons he [Simpson] had for having me replaced had nothing to do with any of his children," said Zoehrer, who kept wicket for Australia in 10 Tests and 22 one-day internationals.

"I gave Simpson the biggest mouthful of abuse ever given by a player to an Australian official," he said of their row during a tour of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in 1987. "I called him everything from being two-faced to yellow-bellied."

Zoehrer said Simpson alleged he had stolen a bottle of Scotch which the player said he had permission to take after an official function in Dubai. He blew up at a team meeting the next day when he was one of several players fined for misbehaviour.

"I had been stewing all day over being branded a thief," Zoehrer said. "I demanded Simpson be fined for not having the balls to ask me to my face whether I stole the Scotch, instead of asking my team-mates if it was true. You could have heard a pin drop."

Zoehrer decided to write the book after Western Australia sacked him at the start of the current season after almost coming to blows with Damien Martyn over alleged comments the captain of Australia A made about his wife, Michelle.

"I saw red, grabbed Martyn by the throat and was about to hit him when [Tom] Moody grabbed my arm and pulled me away. Martyn had no reason to act the way he did because Michelle had never done anything to offend him."

Test preview, page 39

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