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Sean Dickson takes handling the ball dismissal at Leicester on the chin after becoming first Kent batsman since 1872 dismissed in that way

By Alex Hoad

Kent batsman Sean Dickson vowed to take his historic dismissal for handling the ball on the chin and keep smiling, despite cringing every time he watches the footage back.

The 24-year-old was making his first appearance at opener for Kent at Leicester on Sunday but, after fending off a delivery from Ben Raine - just the eighth of the first innings - the South African-born star bent down to tap the spinning ball away from the foot of his stumps with his glove.

After frenzied appeals led by former Kent gloveman Niall O’Brien, Dickson was given out ‘handled the ball’ for nought, becoming the first Kent man since George Bennett against Sussex at Hove in 1872 to depart in such a fashion and one of around five-dozen in First Class cricket history.

Sean Dickson
Sean Dickson

Dickson claimed: “I still have a grin on my face - I’ll take it on the chin. It’s a weird situation. I’ve not been bowled or caught, it’s not anyone else’s fault but my own.

“I can’t take it back, believe me I wish I could. I have watched it back again and again and I cringe, but there’s nothing I can do about it now, the past is the past.

“Hopefully in 15 years time I can look back at it with my kids and see the lighter side of it.”

Dickson claimed he acted on instinct, and the knowledge that he could have kicked or blocked the ball with his bat escaped him at the vital moment.

He said: “I wouldn’t say it was a brain-fart - it’s not like if I’d been caught at long-on in a four-day game - but it was an instinctive human move which neglected the rules in my head.

“It happened slowly but the ball was spinning towards the stumps. It just didn’t trigger in my mind.

“The ball before (the first delivery Dickson had faced) I played a shot and looked back to see the ball rolling away from the stumps but in this instance I didn’t think about kicking it with my foot or shoulder or head or anything.”

Footage of the incident - featured in the ECB footage above - flooded social media in the aftermath with former England skipper Michael Vaughan tweeting a video with the caption ‘What kind of idiot would do this.’

Dickson revealed: “I have read every tweet and all I can do it smile and take it on the chin. There has been a lot of banter from the players and supporters.

“I saw Michael Vaughan’s tweet but I knew straight away how it was intended. I saw the funny side. I know it happened to him against India in 2001.

“I got a message from a friend who said the news had made it to Australia by Sunday night.”

He added: “I have watched all the YouTube videos of ‘handle the ball’ dismissals to put what happened into a picture.

“They were all very instinctive. Steve Waugh just kind of flicked his hand at his. These players didn’t think about anything. It is just one of these things that happen.

“At least I am in good company with Waugh and Vaughan and Graham Gooch. Hopefully there is a club I can join with a special handshake.

“I have to put it behind me and the best way to do that is by going out and scoring runs the next opportunity I get.”

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