Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Collingwood Was Wrong - Benkenstein

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cricket: Collingwood Was Wrong - Benkenstein

Article excerpt

DURHAM captain Dale Benkenstein has admitted he sympathises with England one-day skipper Paul Collingwood, even though he disagreed with his behaviour against New Zealand at The Oval.

Benkenstein has been a team-mate of Collingwood's at the Riverside for the last three years and the two have spent a lot of time together both on and off the pitch.

But he refused to defend Collingwood's actions and insisted the England skipper had been wrong to appeal after New Zealand's Grant Elliott was run out following an accidental collision with Ryan Sidebottom in the fourth one-day international on Wednesday.

"I have a lot of sympathy for Paul because it was a really tough one for a captain," said Benkenstein, who has also skippered Natal-Natal in South Africa.

"He was put in a hard situation, but he should not have appealed for the dismissal and I think he knows that. He did not break any rules in asking the umpire to dismiss him, but there comes a point where the spirit of the game is more important. What he did wasn't in the spirt of the game, but he realised that and he has apologised. I thought he was superb when he was speaking to the media after the game and it's easy to criticise when you are not out there on the pitch. But no, I would like to think I wouldn't have done the same thing in the circumstances."

For those angered by Collingwood's behaviour there was a sense of poetic justice yesterday when he was banned for four one-day internationals as punishment for England's slow over rate at the Oval.

The punishment was so severe because it was the second time in the space of 12 months that Collingwood had been found guilty of failing to get his side to bowl the required number of overs in the allotted time.

The 32-year-old will miss the final one day international against New Zealand at Lord's on Saturday and will also miss the first three games against South Africa at the end of August. …

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