Lancashire cricketer James Faulkner banned from driving

Australian cricketer James Faulkner has been banned from getting behind the wheel for two years and fined £10,000 after he admitted drink-driving.

The 25-year-old, who is currently playing for Lancashire, was nearly three times over the legal limit when his Toyota car hit the back of a BMW 3 Series vehicle in West Didsbury, Manchester.

Faulkner had been out at a local restaurant with a friend on July 2 but chose to drive when he did not wish to walk a mile home in heavy rain, Manchester Magistrates' Court heard.

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.

All-rounder Faulkner, who was named man of the match in this year's cricket World Cup final, is set to leave the UK later this month as his contract with Lancashire expires on August 21 - although the court heard that may be extended to mid-September.