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England skipper plays down Gough incident

KURUNEGALA, Sri Lanka, March 3 (AFP) - England captain Nasser Hussain denied there was an incident involving his key fast bowler Darren Gough during the one-day limited overs match against a Sri Lanka Colts XI here Saturday.

"As far as I am concerned there was no incident. I am amazed that there has been a statement released," said Hussain. He also denied he had sent off Gough to cool down.

"Goughie was unhappy with bowling into the wind and was complaining of a stiff back. I had anyway signalled to the dressing room that he would be coming off at the end of the over," said Hussain.

"The media can have a go at Darren in the press tomorrow, but they will be barking up the wrong tree and you will be upsetting a lad that tries his heart out for England every day.

"Give me 10 Darren Goughs because I love captaining the lad," he said.

In a statement released to the media Gough also denied being involved in any untoward action on the field.

"Although it may have appeared otherwise to the spectators, I can honestly say that Nasser did not send me off the field following the incident.

"I had always intended to leave the field at the end of my spell as I was suffering from a stiff back and needed to get some treatment," said Gough.

As Gough left the field he had words with umpire T. M. Samarasinghe. According to Gough: "I asked the umpire to warn the player because I did not want to get into a dispute with him".

Gough was accidentally tripped by Colts XI batsman Indika de Saram as he went to field off his own bowling in the 37th over of the innings.

He fell to the ground and having got to his feet pointed his finger at the batsman and at the end of the over, snatched his sun glasses from umpire Samarasinghe.

Hussain followed the disgruntled bowler to third man and pointing to the dressing room appeared to tell Gough to go in and cool down. Gough went off and appeared to say a few words to Samarasinghe on his way.

He returned later to complete his quota of overs and take the wicket from de Saram.

Sri Lanka Colts XI coach, Hemantha Devpriya said he would discuss the matter with Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka chief executive Anura Tennekoon.

The umpires also played down the incident and said they would not be taking up the matter further.

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