It is perhaps just as well that Darren Gough did not quite make it as a soccer player. His record of injuries could only have been worse.india Updated: Jun 27, 2003 15:55 IST
It is perhaps just as well that Darren Gough did not quite make it as a soccer player. His record of injuries could only have been worse. Gough is back in the squad after regaining fitness and provides valuable experience in a squad packed with youngsters. He was the first English bowler to take 150 one-day international wickets against India in 2001-02.
His inswinging yorkers are one of the most dangerous parts of his armour, particularly in the later stages of a game, and his flamboyant batting has often seen him chip in with late runs.
Within two years, he had made his first class debut at the Mecca of cricket, Lord's. Gough actually
looks more like a soccer player than a cricketer. He is short by fast bowlers standards, standing only 5'11" tall. But he has powerful built shoulders.
When he burst onto the international cricket arena, Gough was, not surprisingly, compared to Ian Botham, another stocky pace bowler. And the similarities were not limited to physical attributes. He was as dynamic bowler as Botham (his first Test wicket came on the sixth ball of his debut match - Martin Crowe being the victim). He scored 65 runs in his second Test (against South Africa) that helped England win the match.
Gough, however, has been plagued by injury. And this has kept him out of cricket for several spells. His return from this injury was slow, and it was only in 1998 that he recaptured the form that made him England`s most effective strike bowler.
Gough had one of his best seasons of international cricket in 1999, when he became only the 23rd bowler in the game's 112-year history to take a hat-trick. The feat was achieved against arch rivals Australia, and perhaps because of it, was named Wisden's Cricketer of the Year in 1999.