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Cricket Captain Fired For Entertaining Woman in Hotel

June 10, 1988

LONDON (AP) _ A British cricket player was fired Thursday as captain of England’s international team because he invited a women to his hotel room, officials said.

Michael Gatting, 31 and married with two children, ″behaved irresponsibly during a test (international) match by inviting female company to his room for a drink in the late evening,″ said a statement by the Test and County Cricket Board, the game’s governing body.

He remains as a batsman on the team.

The board summoned Gatting to a hearing following allegations Wednesday in the Sun that two of his players had sex with two women on the lawn outside their hotel in Trent Bridge, near Nottingham, the night before Monday’s play and that Gatting himself reportedly took a woman to his room for sex.

The mass-circulation Sun and other newspapers identified the woman as a 20- year-old barmaid and attributed the allegation about Gatting to her.

The incident was said to have happened after play during a five-day match against the West Indies that ended in a draw Tuesday.

Gatting denied allegations of sexual misconduct and vowed to sue the newspapers, the cricket board’s statement said.

In any event, ″the invitation to Mike Gatting to captain the England team ... has been withdrawn,″ the board said, using the polite language that still prevails in the world of cricket.

The second of the five matches against the West Indies begins June 16 at Lords, the London ground regarded as the Mecca of cricket.

And it was to Lords that the England team selectors summoned Gatting on Thursday.

Allegations involving Gatting also appeared in the Sun, Today and Daily Mirror.

″The selectors emphasized that they did not believe the allegations in the newspapers and accepted Gatting’s account of what happened,″ the statement said.

However, it added that team manager Micky Stewart was still looking into the allegations, and a substitute captain would be named Friday after Stewart reported to the selectors.

Gatting, who refused to speak to reporters as he left, stepped down from the team for the Lords match, according to the statement.

″Warnings had previously been issued to all England players concerning the standard of behavior expected of them at all times, both on and off the field, and these had been ignored,″ it said.

Gatting has played for England 59 times and has captained the team since June 1986.

But although Gatting was decorated by Queen Elizabeth II for his cricketing prowess, his captaincy has been lackluster. He won only two of his 23 internationals as captain and last year he was officially censured for having a foul-mouthed shouting match with a Pakistani umpire during an international in Faisalabad.

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