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Farewell to a model professional

Oliver Brett | 06:45 UK time, Monday, 22 September 2008

There are two types of retired cricketing superstars.

One swaps the heat and tension of the dressing-room for the air-conditioned comfort of the commentary box, glad never to have to face a 90mph bouncer again or bowl another over in 90-degree heat.

The other - while still of potential interest to media employers - wistfully watches future generations of batsmen and bowlers playing the game, wishing they were 10 years younger.

Darren Gough, who finished his Yorkshire career at Scarborough last Saturday, two days after his 38th birthday, will belong firmly in the latter camp.

Gough waves goodbye to Yorkshire fans at Scarborough

There may yet be the odd Twenty20 contract, in England or India, to keep Gough active.

But his life as a full-time pro has come to an end - and it's another sad moment after a summer in which we have already bid farewell to two of the finest cricketing servants of their generation in Mushtaq Ahmed and Graeme Hick.

For Gough, the passion that summed up this lionheart of the game burned brightly even late in his career.

When I interviewed him on a cold January morning in 2006, he was furious about being left out of England's one-day squad for India.

The subsequent, protracted failure of the team from that point up to the 2007 World Cup tended to prove Gough right. As he said: "You can't buy bowlers like me at a local superstore - it takes years and years."

But there was something else he said that was just as revealing.

"I still want to be playing some form of cricket when I'm 50. I'm sure some village pub team will have me. So many cricketers retire and say they'll never pick up a bat again. I can never understand that."

Two and a half years later I was sharing a table during a Test at Lord's with the brilliant former South African batsman Barry Richards.

A fellow scribe was desperately trying to entice Richards into appearing for a Media XI to take on the MCC, but he was having none of it.

Gough taking one of his final wickets for Yorkshire

"When you stop playing," he explained as charmingly as possible, "you never want to pick up a bat again."

Not for one second would I want to suggest that Richards was a less dedicated cricketer than Gough.

But the Yorkshireman always put so much into the game, and got so much enjoyment from the success it has brought him, that a stark divorce from cricket is something that is hard for him to stomach.

Apart from a brief sojourn late in his career at Essex, Goughie was as loyal a servant of Yorkshire as the county could wish for - even if performances were inevitably curtailed by injuries and international commitments.

But most cricket fans will know him principally for his performances in an England shirt, where he was a notable exception to a generation of cricketers who often rather shrivelled in the spotlight.

Around the time Gough came into the England side in the mid-1990s, the national team was a national joke.

Players were called up and dumped at will, but amid all the uncertainty - and at times dwindling morale - the fans often reserved their biggest cheers for the young lad from Barnsley with an appetite for the big occasion.

His hat-trick in an Ashes Test at Sydney in January 1999 - a rare sliver of success during a barren decade for England against the Aussies - was followed by his golden period.

Under the guidance of Nasser Hussain and Duncan Fletcher, Gough featured in the four series wins in a row between 2000 and 2001. He was Man of the Series at home to West Indies and, incredibly, on the ultra-slow wickets of Sri Lanka which often fill pacemen with dread.

But that epitomised Goughie, for whom there was never a wicket too flat, nor a situation too hopeless. He was about as close to a model professional as a captain could want.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.



    It's sad to me that Gough will be remembered as the Golden Boy and Caddick won't get the same applause. Their test records are surprisingly similar:

    Gough: 229 wickets at 28.39 with a SR of 51

    Caddick: 234 wickets at 29.91 with a SR of 57.


    Both complemented each other superbly yet only one will get the praise at retirement.

    Incidentally, this 'Gough the model professional' lark... is this the same Darren Gough who admitted to being 'hungover'/drunk during a Test against South Africa?

  • Comment number 2.

    Decent Player

    Recent memory of him in the bbc1 programme on saturday will haunt me for life!

    God he has let himself go!

    He looked like the third hairy biker!

  • Comment number 3.

    Hole in the Wall !!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Caddick's time will come with his retirement.

    But Oliver Brett is right. What a season of retirements this has turned out to be.

    Hick the county batting legend.

    Mushtaq the championship winner.

    And Darren Gough who's personality matched his skill.

    Never should a bowler so short and rotund be so good, but he proved otherwise and his never-say-die spirit has served him well.

    Forget his bowling achievements though; I will always remember his exaggerated follow through with his square cuts.

    Enjoy a happy and deserved retirement with your family Darren.

  • Comment number 5.

    A fantastic player, who was my first cricketing hero and really got me into cricket properly as a youngester.

    One of the best players that this country has ever produced in both forms of the game, he would surely have got 300 test wickets if he hadnt picked up so many injuries during his career.

    Enjoy your retirement goughie, you deserve it, thanks for the good times.

  • Comment number 6.

    all the best with your future, goughie.

    players like you are very rare indeed, entertainers as well as athletes

    p.s always enjoyed your batting too

    ;o)

  • Comment number 7.

    Cricket needs characters and Goughie was one of the biggest. It is not just individual performances that win cricket contests, the the ability to inspire others and contribute to team spirit ensured that Darren Gough was head and shoulders above his contemporaries. I look forward to seeing him on celebrity tightrope walking or whatever the next celeb show is.

    One thing is certain, we havn't seen the end of Darren Gough.

  • Comment number 8.

    @ #1 AndyPlowright. Caddick was a fine bowler, but Gough will rightly be remembered more fondly. Here's why:

    i) His stats ARE better. You say they are surprisingly similar - maybe, but that 1.5 fewer runs and 8 fewer balls per wicket are not to be sniffed at. You also fail to mention ODIs where Gough's record is far superior

    ii) As the article says, Gough always bust a gut for England. You always felt Caddick was on cruise control and needed a kick up the arse to get him going (read Nasser Hussain's book for proof of this)

    iii) Gough was more than just a bowler - his ebullient (under the dictionary entry for that word it should say Gough D) personality lifted his team mates and therefore his contribution was more than just his batting, bowling and fielding

  • Comment number 9.

    Andy Plowright what an absurd remark, does it matter he turned up hungover. Garfield Sobers used to party all night before games did anyone critise and what about SIR Ian Botham or Flintoff per se.... Gough inspired a whole generation of youngsters along with tuffers and if it wasnt for them i would never have fallen in love with cricket. I suppose if you had it your way everyone would be locked up at 7 and have no life, players like that dont inspire teenagers. Gough was an inspirational player who dragged England through some rough times and would always give his all. For a boy from somerset he made me support yorkshire and I often travelled miles to see him. What a wonderful player but more importantly he is a wonderful man.

  • Comment number 10.

    Darren has been one of the most outstanding personalities in English cricket over the last 20 years. Whenever he has appeared - for Yorkshire, Essex or England -he has always given 100 per cent.
    His enthusiasm for the game has never dimmed, and a better team man you could not find.
    I have many happy memories of his bowling for Yorkshire, but strangely enough my all time favourite Goughie moment is of a scintillating innings of 99 in a Roses match at Headingley. He was so disappointed to be out - trying to hit Glenn Chapple back over his head for six - I think he was almost crying by the time he got back to the dressing room.
    He was an inspiration to the young Yorkshire players when he returned as county captain and steered us out of a very low period following the Adams debacle.
    He deserves all the plaudits coming his way - but somehow, like Oliver, I don't think we've quite seen the last of Goughie yet!!

  • Comment number 11.

    Darren Gough is an absolute legend. Always gave 100% on the pitch, and was a true gent off it.

    A dying breed, I feel.

  • Comment number 12.

    Enjoy your retirement Goughie you've earned it. A character who always played with a smile on his face and joy in his heart that rubbed off on players and spectators alike. I won't forget your 'never say die' attitude which has also helped you come back from injury when others had written you off.

    Go well.

  • Comment number 13.

    Great player, and entertaining. When England had poor bowling performance Gough held the seam attack together and did his best. My best wishes with him in all his future endeavours.

  • Comment number 14.

    I assume Mr Plowright is of Somerset persuasion.

    OK so their stats may be similar but I bet there's only a small handful of kids that claimed Andrew Caddick was their hero!

    Darren Gough brought passion to a team that was needing a hero following the demise of Ian Botham, he was a cricketer that put his heart and soul into every ball he bowled and when he'd finished giving 100% he gave 10% more.

    One of the games true characters, not a faceless metronome of a bowler. Given the choice I know who i'd rather have on my side - Goughie every time!

    Good luck Dazzler and thanks for the memories.

  • Comment number 15.

    A great cricketer and a great entertainer. Will be sadly missed.

    Cheers Goughy

  • Comment number 16.

    What's everyone's opinion on Dazzler's test batting...

    i) Did he intially overachieve then hit his true level, i.e. a genuine tail ender.

    ii) A batsman with a touch of talent, which was pushed aside for his bowling (a kind of vice versa of KP).

    Thoughts please

  • Comment number 17.

    Truly, I believe that with Darren Gough what you see is what you get. No artifice. No referring to yourself in the third person. No excuses. But playing our summer game with commitment and the joy of being paid to play a game he enjoyed for a living.

    For a brief period a decade ago my wife and I would see Goughie regularly - his child was at the same nursery as my daughter, (just a regular daycare place). My missus was gobsmacked the first time she bumped into him, as I guess most of the other parents must have been. It wasn't his fame that had her so starstruck, it was the huge smile and friendly greeting as he held the door for her that "dazzled" her. No big ego, no shades and shunning the public, just a young man enjoying his status and loving life.

    Enjoy your retirement Goughie - you've earned it. I hope England can pick your brains about bowling at the death of a limited overs match though, we could do with a few lessons in that!

  • Comment number 18.

    Dear Sir,
    I will like to thank Mr Gough very much for his services to cricket, and for being a fine ambassador to the game, especially for young up and coming cricketers to follow.
    Mr Gough was a heart and soul cricketer, who gave his best, even when he was not at his best, or conditions were not conducive to his style of bowling.
    I also believe that he gave one hundred and fifty present to the cause, not just hundred percent, because playing for England meant everything to him.
    I will like to take the opportunity to wish Mr Gough and his family all the very in their future endeavours.
    Yours Faithfully,
    M. R. Somasunderam.






  • Comment number 19.

    I remember flicking on the TV and seeing the end of a county one day game where this young english chap came tearing in and skittled the tail with inswinging yorkers. I thought "Wow, get this lad in the England team!" I didn't have to wait long and the rest is history.

    I started following England cricket in earnest in 1991 when Gooch was slaughtering India and a certain 17 year old Sachen Tendulkar appeared on the scene. Gough is for me, far and away the best bowler England have had since then.

  • Comment number 20.

    To everyone here I've got some reaction off:

    I'm not criticising Gough at all. He was an excellent cricketer. My point more revolves around the impression of attitude that he gave off. Despite what people say, there isn't much statistical difference between his Test record and that of Caddick. Quibbling about one run less and six balls less per victim is hardly a landslide victory in favour of Gough. Gough's record isn't one that is streets ahead of his England rivals. Together they were a superb opening partnership for England and they complemented each other well.

    I've never been a believer in the school of thought that says you have to be a Gough-type personality to show how much effort you put into your cricket. He was an extrovert, undoubtedly so, and the public warmed to him. With that extrovert edge, perhaps he managed to get away with a few things, the hangover incident coming ot mind. I don't remember him getting stick for that compared to Flintoff's pedalo incident.

    At his best, Gough was superb. Absolutely superb so calm down Yorkshire fans!

  • Comment number 21.

    There are 2 main differences between Gough and Caddick:

    1- Charisma - The cricket loving followers of England will remember the "Dazzler" for the way he performed for England. Always with a smile on his face and with 3-lions tattooed to his arm. You can't buy that kind of passion.

    2- Stand Out Performances - The hat-trick at the SCG (and the away swinging yorker that did for Colin Miller). Gough sempt to get important wickets, big wickets, at big times.

    So the fact that his record is similar to Caddick's matters not to the eyes of England Fans.

    They (we), love to watch Goughie play. He is an inspiration, and always who kids want to be in the playground!!!!
    ("I'm Darren Gough, you can be xxxxxx"?)
    Heard in every school playground between 1994 - 2006.

    Thankyou Daz.

    Now come and play for Barnsley!

  • Comment number 22.

    I was lucky enough to attend Darren Gough's retirement dinner and when he addressed his audience, his words and his emotions showed how much this game meant to him, KP and McGrath couldn't praise the guy highly enough and watching the Sky Sports montage of Dazzler's career was just fantastic, you could tell the bloke was moved.

    Darren, You're a legend. Cricket is losing a special person, a one of character, your quite welcome to turn out at my club anytime!


  • Comment number 23.

    Ah-ha! Someone mentioned charisma at last. Excellent choice of words!

    The British public likes outwardly displayed charisma. A guy might put his all into playing for England but he won’t get the same credit if he doesn’t have a tattoo on his arm. I think we’ve just seen an excellent example of how the British public and media don’t like successful people who lack a certain charisma in the Ryder Cup. Nick Faldo is our most successful golfer ever in terms of Major wins but he’s reviled because he’s an awkward guy. Monty Panesar gets away with his fielding antics through a combination of bowling talent and the fact the crowd love him. Just because a player is more introverted doesn’t make him any less dedicated than someone who is more extroverted.

    I take the point that Gough’s hat-trick was very exciting. Was it any less exciting than Caddick taking 4 in 5 balls against the West Indies? Gough’s hat trick was part of a losing effort: Caddick’s 4 in 5 balls helped us win the game. Yes, Gough took his hat trick against Australia but history remembers the hat trick in a losing effort and doesn’t give Dean Headley the same plaudits for his mammoth spell in the preceding Test when he took 6-60 when the Aussies were chasing 175. You then look at the series averages and it seems a few other people bowled as well or better than Gough:

    http://uk.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1998-99/ENG_IN_AUS/ENG_IN_AUS_OCT1998-FEB1999_TEST_AVS.html

    I’m not trying to put down Gough’s career here at all. As I’ve said earlier, he was a fantastic bowler. I’m putting forward the idea that perhaps his personality and extrovert nature means people rate him a little higher than those who were less extroverted.

  • Comment number 24.

    Darren Gough is the epitome of a great sportsmen. He is not blessed with the most talent (but not short of it) but by sheer enthusiasm and endeavour carried an England attack through pretty much a whole decade.

    Having seen the Gough of today, dancing on TV for media career progression, it is easy to forget why he became my hero but by thinking seriously of what he brought in the mid 90's I transport myself back to why I loved him so much as a kid.

    The moment that encapsulates Goughie was on the first morning of the 97 ashes at Edgbaston (I think) when he cleaned up Greg Blewett (again, I think) only to see the ump's arm raised for a no-ball. No over-the-top gesticulations, he just turned around, strode back to his mark and charged in again, legs pumping, into the powerful coil and sent him straight back to the pavillion next ball.

    It's that sort of attitude, skill and sense of crowd pleasing that created my undying love of cricket. I wanted to be Goughie, and I still love it when I clean bowl someone with a yorker as it gives me that small sense of feeling that maybe just maybe, that's what it's like to be Darren Gough.

    Thanks for getting me into cricket Goughie, it's given me so much pleasure over the years and you were the main reason for it. I've only just realised that now.

    Enjoy your retirement.

  • Comment number 25.

    Olesbigtoe:

    Agreed. For sheer enthusiasm, Gough was hard to beat.

  • Comment number 26.

    Thanks for everything Goughie,

    The biggest compliment you can give him is that, at a time when England were pretty much useless, he alone managed to get 100% respect and admiration from the Australian test team and cricketing public.

    That shows you the measure of the character, ability and effort of one of Englands finest bowlers.

  • Comment number 27.

    Number 23:
    Why do you wish to berate one of the greatest sportsman England has produced in the past 20 years?

    At a time when English Cricket was on it's knees he carried that bowling attack for a decade.

    After his first tour to Australia he returned to the UK early after suffering a stress fracture of the foot. But only after performing with such passion, charisma, skill, guts, yorkshire grit (whatever you want to call it), that the Aussies said (as did number 26), that he was the only Englishman that would get into their test team.

    And as for comparing the stats of other England bowlers at the time, remember that Gough was injured alot, but never missed the Aussies!!!!

    That's what makes him great!

    Make sure you're fit to face the best, that's what makes you a hero, and not an also ran!!!!!!

  • Comment number 28.

    I don't know what separates Gough from Caddick but I do know how the crowd reacted whenever Gough came on to bowl or came out to bat. It was the same as Botham and Freddie Flintstone.
    Cricket watchers just take to someone who wears his heart on his sleeve and gives you everything - and that was Darren. Enjoy putting your feet up.

  • Comment number 29.

    No. 14 East Yorks Owl - perfectly put!

  • Comment number 30.

    AndyPlowright:
    6 balls per wicket makes a HUGE difference if you've taken over 200 wickets. It means that Andy Caddick bowled the equivalent an entire test series' worth of bowling (234 overs) more than Goughie (presumably due to Goughs various injuries) for 5 extra wickets.

    Caddick was the dependable, economical chipper to Gough's extravagant dangerman. Think Hoggard and Harmison for a recent England equivalent - I'd guess Harmison will get more plaudits on retirement, but a look at his figures: 216 @ 31, s.r. 58 suggests that Hoggard has been a much better bowler (248 @ 30, sr 56, very similar to Caddick's). But Hoggy was (on current evidence the past tense is appropriate) the economical, dependable chipper, while Harmison is the occassional demolisher.

    In fact, the Caddick / Gough / Hoggard / Harmison comparison can even be taken through to their batting, too. Can anyone remember a dashing, cavalier innings from Caddick? Did we ever watch Caddick or Hoggy walk to the crease and say "It'll be 5 or 50, but it won't last long!". Harmy and Goughie both had a big swing and on a good day could hit the ball out of the park - and we loved the excitement of it.
    That's why we wanted to be Goughie in the playground, and that's why he'll get the popular plaudits: he entertained us in a way no other cricketer did at the time.

  • Comment number 31.

    "Can anyone remember a dashing, cavalier innings from Caddick?"

    I have a vague recollection of Caddick battering the Aussies in an Ashes Test some years back, anyone else remember it?

  • Comment number 32.

    Thanks for all the comments everyone.

    RedRedRobin

    The Caddick innings you mention was his 10th wicket partnership of 103 with Alec Stewart against Australia at Edgbaston in 2001. (Caddick 49 not out off 40 balls).

    The Aussies battered us in that match, though, and it would be unfair to bring up Caddy's rather ordinary bowling figures. Gough took 3-152 but England's best bowler was Mark Butcher (4-42). Weird Test all round.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    Gough was not and never will be a model professional. That is one of the reasons he has becoe so beloved with fans around the world.

    He was quite possibly one of the very last of an era where top sportsmen could also be less than perfect physical specimins and could make up for physical failings by sheer effort and mental power alone.

    Gough was never the most talented, never the best trainer, certain never really fit, yet he still managed to excel through strength of his charachter.

    He will be missed.

    At least until we get a Cricket Masters series.

  • Comment number 35.

    Can’t remember the details, but I'll never forget the catch he made (and held) while diving and landing on his head. One or two players could learn from his commitment.

  • Comment number 36.

    hackerjack - I think in cricket we will always get less than perfect physical specimens who make it to the top of their profession!!

    Jaques Kallis, Shane Warne and Rob Key are 3 off the top of my head!!

  • Comment number 37.


    Number27:

    I do not believe I am berating Gough’s career at all. Quite how I am berating it by saying he was a fantastic bowler is beyond me. What I am saying and have done consistently is that I am very curious about how he can be hailed as a hero and someone else like Caddick is usually described in less polite terms. The example I used of Nick Faldo stands true: a massively successful man but not an entertainer.

    I’d dispute that Gough carried England’s attack for a decade. He had enough injuries to keep him out of action every now and then just as Caddick did. Caddick actually faced the Aussies more times than Gough did in test matches. I’d also argue that England wasted Caddick’s best years. Remember when he wasn’t picked after becoming the first English bowler for years to get over 100 wickets in a season? Goughie spat the dummy a bit when he wasn’t picked for the 2006 India tour: you’d think Caddick had as much right to spit the dummy when he wasn’t picked after taking 105 wickets in a season.

    Gough also did miss the Ashes. Try checking the 2002-3 series.

    ScaryJim:

    I’d argue that 6 balls in strike rate terms isn’t that huge. Stuart Macgill’s SR is 3 balls better than Warne’s but I know who was the better and more influential bowler. Gough had the greater impact as ODI level but Caddick has the better economy rate at this level. It’s one of those ‘stats are evil’ situation.

  • Comment number 38.

    Number 37.

    We can argue this point all day.

    I will leave you with one simple question.

    "Who would you rather have playing for your life????"

    I know who i'd have!

  • Comment number 39.

    Number27:

    I do not believe I am berating Gough’s career at all. Quite how I am berating it by saying he was a fantastic bowler is beyond me. What I am saying and have done consistently is that I am very curious about how he can be hailed as a hero and someone else like Caddick is usually described in less polite terms. The example I used of Nick Faldo stands true: a massively successful man but not an entertainer.

    I’d argue that England wasted Caddick’s best years. Remember when he wasn’t picked after becoming the first English bowler for years to get over 100 wickets in a season?



    ScaryJim:

    I’d argue that 6 balls in strike rate terms isn’t that huge. Stuart Macgill’s SR is 3 balls better than Warne’s but I know who was the better and more influential bowler. Gough had the greater impact as ODI level but Caddick has the better economy rate at this level. It’s one of those ‘stats are evil’ situation.

  • Comment number 40.

    Who would I want playing for my life? Caddick all the way. Always favour the underdog :)

  • Comment number 41.

    I am actualy realy sad about this news! Absolute legend. Thats part of my childhood ending right there! He was always about when i watched cricket years back; probabaly half the reason why i watched it, such an entertaining character. Would be good to see him with the other legends in the commentry box. Have a happy retirement!

  • Comment number 42.

    I always thought - and I have no way to back this up - that the wickets that Gough took were more likely to be front line batsmen than tail-enders, whereas Caddick was better at cleaning up at the end of an innings. Their 5-fors and 10-fors seem to back that up - Gough took 5 wickets 9 times and never took 10 wickets, whereas Caddick's figures are 13 times and once respectively. Which suggests Goughie could dig that bit deeper to take the key wickets while Caddick was able to focus for longer to finish the job off.
    It always came across that they enjoyed opening the bowling together, and their two styles complemented each other.

  • Comment number 43.

    Hard one to call there. I'd actually htink the other way around. Caddick bowled back of a length and relied on bounce. tailenders are way better at avoiding edging short of a length bowling to the wicketkeeper than they are at dodging reverse swinging yorkers. totally agree on how they complemented each other. Oh for Harmison and Jones to do the same next year...

  • Comment number 44.

    Thanks Dazzler - you are a legend for Yorkshire and England.

  • Comment number 45.

    one of the most over rated bowlers of the last 30 years. Gough was superb at removing 9,10, jack in test matches but very rarely troubled the decent top order players-regularly his figures would go from 1-60 and with the wickets of a couple of tail enders become 3-75.

  • Comment number 46.

    "One swaps the heat and tension of the dressing-room for the air-conditioned comfort of the commentary box, glad never to have to face a 90mph bouncer again or bowl another over in 90-degree heat....
    The other wistfully watches future generations of batsmen and bowlers playing the game...

    Darren Gough, who finished his Yorkshire career at Scarborough last Saturday, two days after his 38th birthday, will belong firmly in the latter camp."

    Don't forget Goughie already hosts a great fivelive cricket show - how about a SkySports 'Final Score'-type show Dazzler?

  • Comment number 47.

    A dyed-in-the-wool pro, always a great trier and never afraid of a challenge. They say that statistics do not adequately convey the majesty of a player's skills, but by statistics alone he deserves to be up there among one of England's all-time greats.

    We can debate till the cows come home about his efficiacy and proficiency in comparison with other bowlers, but for me he was a complete bowler who had all the deliveries and was always willing to learn how and when to use them. Yorkers, bumpers, slower balls, he had such a wonderful repertoire that many have been the batsmen in world cricket who have had trouble facing him. He was a real asset to England, Essex and Yorkshire and it was wonderful for him to have an almost fairytale finish at his home ground the way Graeme Hick did. I actually think that he would make a wonderful bowling coach, what price him replacing Ottis Gibson in the near future?

  • Comment number 48.

    I think that bowlers stats can often give false impressions.

    When they bowled together, Caddick was more trouble to the top 5 bats where as Gough used to get a lot of the lower order batsmen.

    So they both could finish with 5 for 80 but Caddicks's would have been the more important wickets. This is not a criticism of anyone, given his superior physical attributes Caddick should be a better bowler.

    However, Gough was undoubtably more of a "Star" and this x-factor is what separates great players from merely good. Gough could change a match by the captain throwing him the ball, or just by a piece of fielding or a batting cameo...

    Goughie was a superstar!

  • Comment number 49.

    I have one more comment for Andy Plowright. He says Faldo was not an entertainer, in likening Faldo to Caddick. You have therefore hit the nail on the head Mr P. I have been a fanatical follower of England cricket since the 1978 series with India when I was 9, and have therefore witnessed a lot of highs and lows. As cricket is one of my main hobbies, I want to be entertained while watching it. Gough entertained me no end, Caddick did not. Moments like the crowd roaring when Gough came steaming in, or Botham hitting Craig McDermott over his head for 6 on his latest comeback stick out in my mind. Caddick was (is) a worthy player with a good record, and I admired his talent, but he never lit my fire. End of argument I reckon.

  • Comment number 50.

    vmaxjude, spot on

    Gough made the 90's watchable almost single handedly - he was an inspiration to an entire English generation. It's a shame he didn't have the support

    There was nothing better than watching Gough give hell to opening batsmen

  • Comment number 51.

    To paraphrase an old (Yorkshire) cricket joke: "Do you know Dazzler? Are you from Yorkshire, or (Heaven forbid) Lancashire? No? Then shut up - you don't know what you're on about!"
    My husband's first cricket match was a midsummer Headingley day-nighter Roses clash (forget the Ashes, this is serious stuff!). Both teams had their England players back, which meant Lancs had Mr Flintoff playing for them. Yorkshire TRASHED the Old Enemy (which led to an inebriated fellow-Western Terraces occupant apologising to a sad pair of Lancs supporters, "I'm sorry you've had to come all this way to watch this s***e").
    The point is, watching the Dazzler bowl really brought home the sheer power and grandeur of cricket. My husband's been hooked ever since. Cheers, Dazzler, and all the best for the future.

  • Comment number 52.

    Gough was a true legend, a great bowler possessing the key attributes of the ability to swing the ball away at pace, then jagg it back to knock out the leg stump next ball.

    With regards to his batting, Gough's ability was never fully capitalised on by England, probably Bumble's fault in Gough's early years for not pushing him to improve. Anyone who can score a test 50 against Austrialia obviously has something about him.

    Also, Gough is five times the bowler Caddick ever was. At their respective peaks, Gough had 10 mph on Caddick and also had the attribute of bowling a varied length, not just banging it is ball after ball. One good over from Caddick against the windies has been used as evidence to oppose this argument, wheras Gough ran in and produced the goods time and again.

    What could have been if he had had a decent pair of knees to compliment his exceptional talent.

  • Comment number 53.

    If Gough was five times the bowler Caddick was, his bowling average would be closer to 5 than 30.

  • Comment number 54.

    AndyPlowright,

    I do appreciate an iconoclast (otherwise blogsites would be dull).

    I take your point regarding Andy Caddick - he is also a fine cricketer with whom Darren Gough operated well with in tandem.

    I'd wager that all of the posters on this blogsite will equally heap praise on Caddick come his retirement.

    But this blogsite is for Gough and I think you've made your point well but repetition and quibble isn't adding to your observation.

    For Dazzler - thanks for brightening up a bleak decade. When he first stumped up my house-mate cricketer (Staffordshire) observed "isn't it great to see an English bowler 'aving the opposition batsmen jumping around at the crease".

    My personal favourite memory of Gough was bowling an opponent and being picked up by the stump mike boasting to his celebrating team mates in a gruff (slightly heaving and knackered) Barnsley accent "reeeveerse sWing".

    Top effort!

  • Comment number 55.

    re. Gough saying ...

    "I still want to be playing some form of cricket when I'm 50. I'm sure some village pub team will have me. So many cricketers retire and say they'll never pick up a bat again. I can never understand that."

    Oliver: if you see Goughie again, just tell him to drop me a line - he can come and play for my midweek team whenever he likes


    ;*)


    I love the thought of a bunch of low level mid week hackers (including some guys who've never played cricket occasionally) finding out that Darren Gough is charging in at them ... and I'd prefer it if the opposition didn't have him!



  • Comment number 56.

    It would be nice to think Gough would be given some chance in the future to come back to cricket. I think players would enjoy speaking to such a larger than life personality as he was. Thank you Darren Gough for being the entertainer you were.

  • Comment number 57.

    Caddick is undoubtably a good bowler and was so at test level.

    However something that seems to be missing is when Caddick performed well. How often did Caddick take 1st innings five fors or bowl a team out when they were chasing less than 200. Not very often. His 5 second innings wickets at Headingly in 2000 came from the bottom 5 batsmen. His 7 for in Sydney in a 2nd innings in which the aussies wanted 450 to win. Yet Gough did it when it mattered he took the first 4 wickets of that innings at Headingley and was responsible for still being in the game at Lords on the first evening that year. Caddick may take the plaudits for that spell which was magnificent, the situation was hopeless however. What were Caddicks figures in Asia
    ............???

 

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