Dominic Cork

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Dominic Cork : biography

7 August 1971 –

Dominic Gerald Cork (born 7 August 1971) is a former English cricketer. Cork is a right-handed lower-order batsman who bowls right-arm fast-medium, and is renowned for his swing and seam control.

Making his début in first-class cricket for Derbyshire in 1990, he was selected to play for England in 1992, aged 21. He made 69 appearances for England from 1992 to 2002. Cork played for Derbyshire for 13 years, before leaving under controversial circumstances to join Lancashire in 2004. Leaving Lancashire after the 2008 season, Cork joined Hampshire, who he played for from 2009 to 2011, acting as captain for much of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. While at Hampshire he won the 2009 Friends Provident Trophy, and captained the county to victory in the 2010 Friends Provident t20. He was released by Hampshire at the end of the 2011 season, shortly thereafter he announced his retirement on Sky Sports News on 22 September 2011. His popular nickname is "Corky".

International career

While playing for Staffordshire, Cork made his Youth ODI début for England Under-19’s against New Zealand Under-19s in August 1989. Later in August he made his Youth Test début against the same opposition. He played six further Youth Tests to 1990 and five further Youth ODIs to 1990.

Following strong performances for Derbyshire in the 1991 season, he earned himself a call up to the England A team for their 1992 tour of the West Indies, where he played in two first-class matches against the Windward Islands and West Indies A. Later in the year, following further strong performances for Derbyshire, he made his full international début in a One Day International against Pakistan at Old Trafford. He took one wicket in the match, that of Inzamam-ul-Haq. Cork played infrequently for England over the coming seasons, playing just two ODIs each in 1993 and 1994, against Australia and South Africa respectively. However, in May 1995 he played in three ODIs against the West Indies, taking 6 wickets at a bowling average of 21.81, with best figures 3/27. Later in the season he made his Test debut against the same opposition. In his maiden Test match he scored 30 runs in England’s first-innings before being dismissed Courtney Walsh and in their second he scored 23 runs before being dismissed by Ian Bishop. His first Test wicket came in the West Indies’ first innings when he dismissed Ian Bishop. More was to come in their second innings when from 124/3, Cork unleashed a bowling spell in which he took 7/43 – the best figures by an Englishman on Test debut – to help dismiss them for 223. This performance highlighted that at the time, Cork was the best all-rounder in England and also got his name on the Lord’s Honours Boards. It also earned him the tag of "the new Botham" from the media. Two Tests later he became the 22nd man to take a Test cricket hat-trick, when he dismissed Richie Richardson, Junior Murray and Carl Hooper in successive balls in the West Indies second-innings; he was the first Englishman since Peter Loader in 1957 to achieve the feat.Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, 1996 Edition, ISBN 978-0-947766-31-3. Cork finished the series with 26 wickets at an average of 25.42. He also struck his maiden Test half century, making an unbeaten 56 in the 4th Test.

Cork had a productive time in South Africa during their winter tour, playing five Tests and six ODIs during the tour. Cork was once more England’s leading wicket-taker, with 19 Test wickets at an average of 25.52 and best innings figures of 5/84. He was similarly successful in the ODI series with the ball, England’s second highest wicket-taker behind Derbyshire team-mate Phil DeFreitas, with 10 wickets at 26.40 a piece. Cork was selected at part of England’s squad for the 1996 World Cup in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In a tournament in which none of the England bowlers shone, Cork was the leading English wicket-taker, with 8 at 27.00. Despite this, Cork and rest of the England team were heavily criticised in the media for what had been an unsuccessful tournament which saw them defeated by eventual winners Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals.