Atherton in more trouble


ENGLAND captain Mike Atherton was handed a 48-hour deadline to issue a public apology in Rawalpindi yesterday after being accused of branding a Pakistani journalist a "buffoon."

The remark, made after England's humiliating group B defeat to South Africa, prompted demands for an immediate apology from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).

A frustrated Atherton, whose side had just been mauled by 78 runs by the South Africans, appeared to lose patience when the journalist, speaking in halting English, asked a series of complicated questions at a press conference.

After the first question, relating to England's batting, Atherton said: "I think I've already answered that." Further attempted questions followed before he muttered: "Somebody remove this buffoon."

Excellently though South Africa bowled and fielded yesterday, an England response of 152 all out with five-and-a-half overs unused was little short of pathetic.