James Faulkner: Drink-drive cricketer fined £10,000

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image captionIn an apology, James Faulkner said he made an "error in judgement" when he decided to drive home

Australia international cricketer James Faulkner has been fined £10,000 and has received a two-year driving ban after admitting drink-driving.

The Lancashire all-rounder was nearly three times over the legal limit when his Toyota car hit the back of another vehicle in West Didsbury, Manchester.

The 25-year-old had been out at a restaurant on 2 July but drove home to avoid walking a mile in heavy rain, Manchester Magistrates' Court heard.

He called it an "error in judgement".

In an apology, published on Cricket Australia's website, Faulkner said: "I can't excuse my actions and understand that I have let people down."

Sentencing, District Judge Mark Hadfield told him: "I am sure you accept it was foolhardy in the extreme to get behind the wheel of your vehicle having been out for a meal with your friend."

The judge said he reached the fine figure after he ruled out an unpaid work community order or a curfew because it was "unworkable" in the defendant's circumstances.

Six character references were handed to the judge which spoke of Faulkner "in glowing terms", including one from Lancashire's director of cricket, Ashley Giles, who was present in court.

Faulkner, who is not part of Australia's 17-man Ashes squad, was named man of the match in this year's cricket World Cup final.

He was given a four-match suspension from Australia's tour of England and Ireland after being charged with the drink-driving offence.

His current contract with Lancashire is due to expire on 21 August.

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