PAUL Allen was barred from England’s Deaf Ashes series - because he is not deaf enough!
The former Winnington Park star, now captain of Christleton, was pulled out of the first Test at Southport on Wednesday when the Australians objected to his audiogram reading just an hour before play was due to start.
The reading showed his hearing in his better ear was 0.4 of a decibel above the 55dB limit for deaf players, meaning England had to send Allen, 23, home.
He said: "Before each tour players have to have an audiogram to meet the threshold set for deaf cricket and I have always been borderline.
“But I have played for England for six years and complied with the international criteria for the tour of Australia and the World Cup, when we played Australia twice.
“I feel let down. England have had my test results for three months, then to be told while into the pre-match warm was hard to take.”
Allen, who lives at Winsford and plays football for Barnton, added: “Both teams have been staying at the same hotel in Southport for the previous five days and we had the opening ceremony on Monday so both tour managers where in direct contact.
“I can blame the Aussies for gamesmanship for contesting the audiogram so late but if they knew it didn't meet the standard why didn't the ECAD (the English Cricket Association for the Deaf) know three months ago?
“The players’ support lightened the impact, but ironically it’s the first time I have been upset by not being deaf enough – 0.4 of a decibel.”
ECAD are waiting for another expert opinion on the audiogram before considering taking the matter further.
The tour is made up of two three-day Tests, four-one day internationals and a Twenty20 match. The Aussies’ protest was almost in vain as the two sides drew the series opener.
See page 43 for our bumper review of all the weekend’s cricket action