Cricket: Caddick and Headley on rebound

ANDY CADDICK and Dean Headley were licking their wounds from public criticism in Port of Spain yesterday. Just how they react to it will have a significant bearing on England's Caribbean campaign.

Opposites temperamentally, the new-ball pair have nevertheless both been stung by the harsh words of the past two days, including those of England's captain, Michael Atherton, and coach, David Lloyd.

Atherton virtually accused them of costing England the second Test against the West Indies and Lloyd has also criticised their failure to put the ball consistently in the right place.

Lloyd said: "I told them on the last morning of the Test that they had to be themselves. I said `if you perform as you can then we will win.' But they are now getting three days in which to prepare themselves for the next Test and, if you get criticism, then any professional just has to roll up his sleeves and say he will show people what he can do. That's their challenge now."

Caddick is upset at being portrayed as the man who lost England the Test. He has been reluctant to talk about his poor performance, going 30 overs without a wicket on a pitch clearly made for his style of bowling.

He is also hurt that his 5 for 42 at The Oval in his previous Test last August to help defeat Australia - and that his record during the past year for England has been excellent - has been ignored. In other words, he simply had a bad Test.

In contrast, Headley has been happy to speak about his own second Test performance.

He said: "I did not bowl as well as I can but I did get four wickets in the match and, in the four Tests that I've now played since last summer, I've got 20 wickets. The main problem in the game was that, even though I looked like taking wickets, I was going for too many runs.

"I accept that I did not get things quite right but in my last spell I got the nip back in to my bowling and in that spell I picked up the wickets of David Williams and Curtly Ambrose.

"I felt I was getting my rhythm back and really hitting the bat. Overall, it was very disappointing of course, but I don't think I should be getting too worried about my form."

Lloyd, meanwhile, has been boosted by several calls of support from the England hierarchy back home and hinted strongly that England will go into the third Test with an unchanged team.

Lloyd has been particularly impressed by the resilience of his senior quartet of players - Alec Stewart, Nasser Hussain, Angus Fraser, and Jack Russell - who have had to suffer three failures in three tours to win a Trinidad Test.

"Those four are absolute bankers to come back strongly," Lloyd said. "I have also appreciated calls from the likes of chairman of selectors, David Graveney, and from our board chairman, Lord MacLaurin. I believe that David has also spoken to every single player.

"What irks is that we got into a position to win, but lost the game and it was very apparent why we lost it. You have simply got to put the ball in the right place on pitches like that."

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When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
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He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
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I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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