Cricket captain is accused of spanking pupil

‘Roebuck gave me 12 of the best as punishment because he said I was unfit’

By Rupert Hamer

CRICKET star Peter Roebuck is being investigated by police over allegations that he assaulted a young player.

Roebuck, 44, who captained Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Joel Garner during Somerset’s glory days, is said to have used a cane and then his hand on 19-year-old Keith Whiting’s backside.

Keith, from Johannesburg, said the “punishments” were administered during fitness training while he was staying at Roebuck’s bungalow in Taunton.

He said: “We had a race and Roebuck beat me. He said my fitness was not up to standard. He said, ‘Go fetch the cane, there is one in the garage.’

I went out to get it and found one lying on the floor, with three or four others nearby. When I got back to the lounge he gave me 12 of the best, six with the cane and six with his hand.”

Keith added: “I was scared and lonely and very vulnerable. It was the first time I had been away from home. I was very confused.”

Keith said he was caned again after batting practice a few days later — and was also struck with a cricket bat after returning home late from a nightclub.

Keith Whiting
Keith Whiting

His allegations came to light after he told his parents and Richard Lines, the club secretary of nearby Bishop Lydeard Cricket Club, where Keith was playing.

Mr Lines, 48, said: “We moved Keith out of the bungalow that evening and he did not go back.”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they had received a complaint from a 19-year-old cricketer alleging assault. “This is now being investigated,” he said.

Last night bachelor Roebuck, in Sri Lanka covering their test match against Australia for a newspaper, refused to comment.