Cricket coach jailed for abusing young players admits further sexual assault

Michael Strange, who was a coach for Durham, admitted indecently assaulting a 14-year-old in the late 1990s.

A former Durham cricket coach has admitted sexually assaulting a teenage player after being convicted of similar offences on four previous occasions.

Michael Strange, 63, appeared via videolink from prison for a 10-minute hearing at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court and admitted a single indecent assault charge on a 14-year-old in the Tyne and Wear area in the late 1990s.

Stephanie Cook, prosecuting, outlined that the offence was that Strange touched the boy while he was acting as a cricket coach.

Magistrates sent the case to Newcastle Crown Court on September 7 because their sentencing powers were not sufficient for the seriousness of the offence.

It was understood that Strange’s prison sentence for his previous offending was coming to an end soon, but that he would still be behind bars when this latest case was dealt with at crown court.

No details can be published which identify the victim in this case.

Investigators have now been in contact with the cricket authorities about Strange’s offending.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We can confirm we have spoken with the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and shared appropriate information.

“In doing so, we protected the right that all complainants and victims of sexual offences have to life-long anonymity, meaning they should not be named or identified in any way.”

Another victim, who was also abused by Strange when he was 14, has called on the ECB to hold an inquiry.

He said previously: “At the time, Strange was a trustworthy coach, a proven coach, someone who young cricketers did look up to, very knowledgeable.

“The publicity (from holding an inquiry) that could prompt someone to speak out is a better thing than not doing anything at all.

“Yes, it’s going to have negatives, but if there are any positives at all out there, it’s better to look for them than hide away the negatives.”

Strange has now admitted, or been convicted of, abusing young players on five separate occasions when he was coaching at two clubs in the North East, and was most recently sentenced in January 2022.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.