Ex Staffordshire and England star Dominic Cork plays down Ashes “sledging”

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Dominic Cork (pic from FriendsLifeImages, Flickr creative commons)Ex England and Staffordshire cricket star Dominic Cork has played down the “sledging” of the fourth day of the opening Ashes test.

England bowler James Anderson was subject to a verbal attack from Australia captain Michael Clarke, who was heard through a stump microphone saying “get ready for a broken arm”.

It emerged today that Clarke has been fined 20% of his match fee for the incident.

But Cork, speaking during a visit to his home town Newcastle-under-Lyme, believes “sledging” is nothing new in the sport.

“Look, it’s sport at the end of the day, things are said on a sporting pitch, it wont be the first time, and it won’t be the last time,” he told StaffsLive.

“It’s a man’s game, get on with it. At the end of the day there’s certain things in sport that push people and whether it was the right thing to say that’s down to him.

“All I can tell you is when you’re playing for your country and you’ve played international sport at any level, you want to win.

“Do I agree with it? No, you wouldn’t want anybody to break anybody’s arm. Has that happened in cricket before? Yes, will it happen again? Yes.”

Cork played 37 Test matches for England and insists the main concern should be the performance of the team, especially in the batting department.

“They batted very poorly in both innings. You can’t be 135 all out in a 5-day test match and expect to even compete.

“All in all if you were doing a little report on exactly how they went you’d give them 2 out of 10 – the 2 would be Stuart Broad and perhaps Michael Carberry’s first innings, but the rest was simply not good enough.”

Cork was visiting Newcastle-under-Lyme as one of the guest speakers at this year’s Christmas Lights switch on.

As well as giving a cricketing masterclass along with England Ladies star Danielle Wyatt, Cork was excited to be part of the celebrations.

“It’s the area where I was brought up. I’ve always been keen to look how it’s going, my family and brothers are all from the area.

“Obviously I’m a very big Stoke supporter, it’s a proud moment for me today. I’m very nervous to switch the button!”

(Additional reporting by Jake Gilbert)

(pic from FriendsLifeImages, Flickr creative commons)

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