Cricket: Crawley always comes prepared

David Llewellyn on the batsman who was forced behind the stumps

There has always been something of the scout about John Crawley; he looks the clean-cut, all-England sporting hero and yesterday he revealed another element which adds to that impression.

When it transpired that Alec Stewart was suffering muscular spasms in his back - "I couldn't touch my knees, let alone my ankles," said the Surrey man - and would be unable to take his place behind the stumps on Saturday, step forward young Crawley of the 2nd Old Trafford, 1st Lancashire scout troop.

"I'm probably the only one who can put on the pads in this sort of situation," came the explanation. He was certainly the only one who had his own wicketkeeping gloves. Blue ones. "I always keep my gloves in the bottom of my bag," said the 25-year-old Crawley, who clearly knows the scout motto: Be prepared.

At 6ft 2in Crawley may appear a trifle too tall, but just the fact that he carries specialist gloves around suggests a certain familiarity with the job. "I hadn't kept wicket since the mid-80s on a regular basis," he admitted. "But just last week, in the Sunday League match, Warren Hegg was injured so I stood in for him against Kent."

But Stewart's job is safe. He was back behind the stumps last night secure in the knowledge that Crawley will be concentrating on his batting, and with three scores of one and a 40 not out in his last four Test outings that sounds sensible. "I used to keep for England Under 15s and Under 16s, but I haven't been able to keep it going as much I would have liked because of my batting and on recent results that's probably just as well," he explained, while reflecting on a dismal performance by the England top six first time around.

"All out 77 has to be bad batting in a way, but things went pretty well for the Australians too," he explained, "and the wicket had a few cracks in dangerous areas even before the start." He hastily added that the danger was of the batsman losing his wicket rather than his head.

He also referred to the poor showing in the field when five catches and a couple of run-outs went begging. Crawley said: "After the euphoria of Edgbaston this has been a bit of a knock. We are not proud of what has happened. But they could have been 100 for five or six if we had taken our chances. It is a measure of the Australian team that they have come back after what happened at Edgbaston, and we have to recover from this."

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam