Tuesday, 15 April 2014


I recently had the pleasure of popping out to the delightful town of Stamford in Lincolnshire, just beyond Rutland Water, to interview its head of cricket, the former England quick bowler, Dean Headley, a man I'd twice played against in 1990. Both times, I retired hurt. 

It was heart-warming that he remembered me, even more so that we spent the first 30 minutes reminiscing about the North Staffs & South Cheshire League as he experienced it back then: about the challenge of facing Sibtain Haider and Dave Follett at Burslem; about Dennis Elliott's catching prowess at slip; about realizing that eight of the first XI at Leycett were related; about playing at Knypersley and seeing Nigel Davies given the silent treatment by the members for scoring 30-odd, whereas Les Lowe got a warm round of applause for a duck; about winning the Talbot Cup with Leycett; about playing for Staffordshire with "Dean and Carnage" et al.

This is a man whose grandfather was one of the all-time greats of the sport, a man who played 15 Tests for England (and it would certainly have been many more but for the injuries that curtailed his career), and here he was remembering these familiar characters vividly and affectionately.

It was, without doubt, my favourite cricketing interview to date. And when we got to talking about more famous cricketing exploits, the stories became better and better.

Have a read over on ESPNcricinfo: "It burned to to be told I didn't have the heart to play as a bowler".

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