Cricket: DeFreitas in control

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The Independent Online
PHIL DEFREITAS enters tomorrow's NatWest Trophy final against his former county, Lancashire, having completed the transformation from young firebrand to wise elder statesman.

The 32-year-old Derbyshire all-rounder would not have been the first choice as an example to younger players when he was first attracting notice both on and off the field with Leicestershire.

Stories of dressing-room pranks and rumours of more than one pane of glass being shattered in the frustration of being unable to fulfil his undoubted potential gave DeFreitas a reputation as a troublesome character.

However, now he has more responsibility and says: "I enjoy helping the younger players. When I first started, people called me the bad boy of cricket.

"I was called a hot-head and lots of other things and if I can help younger players through that period of that career, give them advice and guide them on which ever direction I feel they should go, I feel pleased about doing that."