Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Curry banned from cricket after 'assault'

Decker Curry has been banned from all cricket for a year after being found guilty at a Cricket Ireland disciplinary hearing for offences in the abandoned Bob Kerr Irish Cup tie between Limavady and Instonians on June 11.

Although Limavady have decided to appeal, the ban on the 44-year-old former Ireland international started as soon as his club received the damning verdict so he was unable to play in last night's Senior One League game against Glendermott. If the appeal is unsuccessful it is likely that Curry will retire.

The game was abandoned following an alleged assault by a Limavady player on Instonians' Ireland international Andrew White during the tea interval.

The NCU club agreed to resume the match but only under protest and Limavady refused to play on under these conditions.

The umpires had no alternative but to abandon the match.

Last night a separate meeting ruled that Instonians will meet Railway Union in the quarter-final on Saturday week, because "Limavady refused to continue the match".

The other three last eight games go ahead this Saturday.

Cricket Ireland have still to give the reason for the ban to Limavady or issue an official statement - that will follow today.

But to receive a one-year ban, a player has to be found guilty of a Level Four offence which includes a "physical assault on another player".

Curry has denied that offence but admitted to the Level One offences of using "obscene, offensive or insulting language" and "showing dissent at the umpire's decision" when he was given out to the first ball of the game and also "abuse of cricket equipment"; he wrecked the stumps with his bat before returning to the pavilion.

Limavady have already banned Curry from the club's next two Irish Cup games.

Curry is the most prodigious run-scorer in North West cricket with more than 90 centuries and 30,000 runs to his name for Donemana, with whom he won eight successive league winners medals from 1985-1992, and Limavady, whom he then led to seven championships in a row from 1994.

He made his Ireland debut in 1992 against England Amateur, at Eglinton, scoring two. But it was to be four more years before he was given the chance to open the batting for Ireland, his regular club position, and he celebrated with his first half century, scoring 69 against Wales in the first match of Ireland's winning Triple Crown campaign.

With the help of another Curry 50 against Holland in the final of the European Championships in Denmark, it completed what was then Ireland's most successful season.

Decker was Ireland's regular opener through their first World Cup qualifying campaign in Malaysia in 1997 but after playing just four internationals that summer, it was to be another four years before Curry would return to the side, in time for the ICC Trophy tournament in Toronto, under Kiwi coach Ken Rutherford.

After scoring a century against the Earl of Arundel's XI from No 6 in the final match before Ireland left for Canada, Rutherford controversially kept Curry in the middle order for the first four games in the ICC Trophy.

When he was finally promoted to open the innings, against Papua New Guinea in the next group game, he scored 95 not out.

But three days later when Rutherford announced the batting order for the big game against Scotland, Curry was back down at No 5. After a public, full-scale row with the coach, Curry was dismissed for one and never played for Ireland again.

Ten years later, it looks as if another early dismissal could spell the end of his club career as well.

On the field last night, Limavady were 109 for five in the 14th over when rain halted their 20 overs league game and took it into a second night.

Meanwhile, North Down avenged Sunday's league defeat at The Lawn with a 23-runs victory over Waringstown in the first semi-final of the Twenty20 Cup.

Obus Pienaar scored 98 from 47 balls with five sixes and nine fours.

Scores: North Down 179-5 (R Haire 59, T Khan 35, I Moran 31; K McCallan 2-25, James Hall 2-25). Waringstown 156 (20 overs, O Pienaar 98; M Moreland 4-30, T Khan 3-22).

North Down won by 23 runs.

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