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Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2007, 11:56 GMT
Driving ban for England cricketer
Liam Plunkett
Plunkett was more than twice the legal alcohol limit
England cricketer Liam Plunkett has been banned from driving for 20 months after he admitted drink-driving.

The 21-year-old bowler was breathalysed when he crashed into another car after leaving Yarm's Tall Trees nightclub in October, Teesside magistrates heard.

Plunkett, who starred in England's one-day series win over Australia, was more than twice the legal limit.

Following Monday's court appearance, he admitted acting irresponsibly and apologised to family and team-mates.

The late-night incident happened at a set of traffic lights at Yarm, near Stockton-on-Tees.

I am deeply sorry for what I did and there is simply no excuse for it. I acted irresponsibly
Liam Plunkett

The court heard that, as Plunkett approached a set of traffic lights, his foot slipped off the brake and he crashed into another car.

After being breathalysed, arrested and taken for more tests, he gave a reading of 172mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

The legal limit is 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

Speaking on Monday, Plunkett, of Marton, Middlesbrough, said: "I am deeply sorry for what I did and there is simply no excuse for it. I acted irresponsibly.

'Role model'

"I would also like to apologise to my family, friends, team mates and coaches for the embarrassment I have caused them.

"I accept that I am a role model, especially for youngsters, and for this reason I am particularly sorry about what happened.

"My cricket career is extremely precious to me and I am determined not to waste the amazing opportunity that I have been given."

The court also ordered Plunkett to pay 50 costs.

Durham bowler Plunkett has just returned from the three-month tour of Australia and, after sitting out the Ashes series, played in the Commonwealth Bank triangular tournament, finishing as joint leading wicket-taker.

He is part of the England World Cup squad, who will fly out to the Caribbean on 2 March.

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