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Page last updated at 11:13 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 12:13 UK

Cork rekindles love for the game

Dominic Cork
Cork has taken 24 wickets in all competitions for Hampshire so far

Dominic Cork says his zest for the game of cricket has returned since joining Hampshire at the start of the season.

The 37-year-old ex-England all-rounder twice claimed four-wicket hauls in three days to help his side reach the Friends Provident Trophy last eight.

And, ahead of Saturday's quarter-final with Middlesex at the Rose Bowl, Cork told BBC Radio Solent: "I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.

"I've got that spark back that I'd probably lost for the last two years."

Cork's release by Lancashire at the end of last season after five years at Old Trafford, announced just days after his 37th birthday and a month before the end of the season, left a sour taste in the dressing room.

Lancashire skipper Stuart Law, who followed him out of the Old Trafford door a month later, was particularly supportive.

But Cork has put all that behind him, having so far taken 10 wickets in three County Championship games and 14 in seven FP Trophy matches.

He took six wickets in the match on his Championship debut for Hampshire at the Rose Bowl in April, including three in four balls, to help beat Worcestershire.

And, after his 4-20 in the Trophy against Ireland on Monday, he then took a match-winning 4-18 at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

It was his early four-wicket burst, starting with Mark Wagh from the very first ball, which destroyed Nottinghamshire to earn Hampshire their passage to the last eight - and Saturday's home quarter-final against Middlesex.

I'm just an old man still trying to run in and take wickets

Dominic Cork

But Cork admits that, after signing a two-year deal with Hampshire last October, he simply wants to keep playing the game as long as he can.

"I've been privileged to have played the game so long," said Cork.

"I just want to play the next game. I'm more excited about the next game than I am about the last one.

"And I'm enjoying everything that I'm doing at Hampshire. They are a great bunch of guys led by a good coach in Giles White.

"But, whoever I'd have moved to, I was always going to give my all.

"I'll run in on any day on any pitch and take wickets. That's my job.

"I've had two bad games, both against Worcestershire in the Friends Provident Trophy. I didn't bowl well. And I feel like I let the guys down.

"At times I'm not going to bowl well. That's part and parcel of the game. You can't just turn up every day and take wickets.

"But I take a lot of pride in my performance and, when my performances aren't good enough, I really beat myself up.

"On those two occasions against Worcestershire I apologised to the lads and said I would come back and fight harder.

"I think they respect that I can't always take wickets. I'm not a genius. I'm just an old man still trying to run in and take wickets."



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see also
Hants blitz Notts to go through
20 May 09 |  Counties
Hampshire sign all-rounder Cork
02 Oct 08 |  Hampshire
Cork 'disappointed' by Lancs exit
12 Aug 08 |  Lancashire
Law frustrated by Cork departure
14 Aug 08 |  Lancashire
Cork release confirmed
25 Sep 03 |  Derbyshire


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