English cricketer Reeve admits cocaine addiction

Published: Sunday, May 22, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Former England international Dermot Reeve has admitted he is fighting an addiction to cocaine and even used the drug while commentating on a Test match for Channel 4.

Reeve, who played for England and Warwickshire in the 1990's and was awarded an OBE in 1996 for services to cricket, quit his job as a commentator last week after five years as part of their commentary team.

Last summer, he admitted, he commented on the first Test between England and New Zealand at Lord's under the influence of cocaine.

"I have no recollection of seeing the ball on Saturday and Sunday," Reeve told The Mail on Sunday.

"I had to watch the video of the match to hear what I said. My bosses took me to one side at the end of Sunday. They knew I was having problems and suggested I took Monday off. It was a reality check and it was also very frightening."

Reeve said that his marriage to second wife Fiona was under pressure when he first used the drug.

"I turned to cocaine as a bit of escapism. It was a quick fix to solve problems as opposed to dealing with them."

And he admits he is still fighting his addiction to the drug which is compromising his role as a father.

"I have given up cocaine for a month at a time, but I have to be honest and say that I think about it every day that I have given it up. I want to be clean and healthy and fit for my kids and have normal highs that aren't due to cocaine. If I need professional help, I will seek it."

Reeve captained Warwickshire to six trophies in three years, including three in 1995, and earned 25 one-day international caps - appearing in two World Cups - and three Test caps.

During that time he was using another drug - marijuana - and believes he was not alone.

"If every cricketer I knew at the time I played was banned from playing, you would not have seen very good teams out there," he said.

"I am talking about the teams in the 90s, when I played for England and Warwickshire. I occasionally smoked marijuana at that time out of season, but it was never a problem."

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