Worcestershire’s chairman Martyn Price has exonerated chief executive David Leatherdale and director of cricket Steve Rhodes of any blame in the ‘Shankargate’ affair.
West Mercia Police have launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Worcestershire’s decision to award batsman Adrian Shankar a two-year contract earlier this month. Worcestershire ditched Shankar following concerns that some of his personal details may have been false.
Worcestershire were under the impression that Shankar is 26 when he is actually 29. Shankar actually played three matches for Worcestershire’s second team in 2003 when his birth date was given as May 7, 1982.
The episode is an embarrassment to Worcestershire but Price has given his backing to his senior management team.
“David and Steve have my full support,” Price said. “They have done nothing wrong and have worked very hard to sort this mess out.
“Steve, understandably, is as upset as anyone about this affair. If he feels that he has been made to look foolish but he has got my full backing.
“If any blame is to be attached the ECB should take a bit of it. They have enough people down there to deal with registration matters and so we have asked them to look into this matter.”
Worcestershire will not pay Shankar, who was released by Lancashire last year, for the time he spent with them.
They are also considering whether to strip him of his club colours, which are awarded to each player who makes a County Championship appearance for the county.
Shankar became the 467th player to represent Worcestershire in the Championship when he made his debut against Durham two weeks ago.
As colours are awarded on sequence rather than on merit as in the traditional county cap system, it may prove difficult to take retrospective action against Shankar.