Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dazzler dances into the Yorkshire sunset

Darren Gough has retired.

The Dazzler was a bit of a childhood hero to me. Although my natural support lay with Andy Caddick, in my heart of hearts, I acknowledge that Gough was England’s best bowler in the 1990s.

His talents lay, according to Fred Truman, mainly in his bum (that’s not a hint) where Fred believed that prodigious size resulted in fast bowling manliness. On this count, Gough excelled.

People say that Gough’s main strength was his heart. “He had a big heart” they say. I say this is rubbish.

His main strength was bowling fast and accurate. And getting wickets. He was excellent at all these things and that made him great.

Have you ever seen a giant heart play cricket? Useless at finding length. And leaves a terrible mess.

What stood out for me was his huge, leaping bowling action, left-arm pointing directly towards God, and the ball would fire towards some hapless batsman. Usually a South Africa. Gough, for some reason, seemed to bowl at a lot of South Africans.

My enduring memory was of his cheeky rear-guard of a quick 40 in the dying moments of an England innings. He, and Phil Defreitas I think, displayed some entertaining hitting to save England from defeat against the Saffers.

“I’m going to get you out,” said Allan Donald, angrily.
“I’m going to hit you straight into the air, but get away with it” said Gough.
“Oh, I’m all angry now.”
“Oh looked, I did it again.”

But, perhaps Gough’s finest achievement was scoring a maximum in the 2007 Christmas Special of Strictly Come Dancing with a classy American Smooth.


Spigot said...

He has Cardiomegaly?? Doesn't seem like an asset for pace bowlers to me.

"An 'enlarged heart' is the term used to describe a heart with an excessively thickened muscular wall or, alternatively, an over-stretched heart with dilated chambers. Both conditions impair the efficiency of the heart's pumping action and can be associated with 'heart failure'.

In other news, in my village there was a boy in the year above me who insisted on people calling him Dazzler. He was a fool.

In other other news, I thought it was the end of the season, not now...

Ceci from t'north said...

There's a Yorkshire saying that a large arse on a bloke was a sign of a large ..erm other thing.. "It teks a big 'ammer to knock in a big nail" My gran told me that and my grand-dad smirked.

And I know quite a few women who STILL go on about the Dazzler's dancing (and even more about the Surrey Pensioner's prancing)

David Barry said...

Your favourite bowler was Andy Caddick? I'm glad I'm not English.

Jrod said...

Gough was well thought of in Australia, Caddick was ignored or mocked.

Suave said...

You have to forgive The Atheist. He's from Somerset, they're all a little backwards down there. Small gene pool and too much scrumpy!

Goughy was always my favourite, as he looked like he'd run through glass for the team, and he could have a laugh.

John said...

Suave, he actually looked like he would run through bottles for his team.

Catherine said...

I love Strictly Come Dancing. Especially when cricketers win.