CRICKET: ECHO OF THE PAST: Fred Trueman and Darren Gough

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So these two were hewn from the same Pennine granite, then?

In as much as they are both Yorkshiremen, yes, although Fred was very nearly a Nottinghamshire lad, born half-way between Doncaster and Worksop in the village of Stainton.

And both born to bowl fast?

Well, they have the physique for it - strong arms and legs, broad backs and bottoms. Gough at 5ft 11in stands an inch taller according to some records, but only half an inch in others. Gough's official weight swings between 12st 8lb and 13st 3lb, Trueman's in his pomp was a more guarded secret, varying in accordance with the availability of fish and chips and Tetley bitter (or so we are told).

So is Gough really Trueman born again?

Not really, no. As a nickname, "Fiery Fred" genuinely reflected Trueman's nature, whereas "The Dazzler" is little more than a corruption of Darren. What's more, where Trueman really was a raw, reckless tearaway in his cricketing youth, Gough admits to having "frozen" in the middle in his rookie days, reluctant to bowl at his net pace for fear of getting smashed about. Nonetheless, the buzz that goes around Headingley when Gough prepares to run in compares favourably, pro rata, with the excitement Fred used to generate.

What do the stats tell us?

That Gough (85 Test wickets at 28.24) has some way to go before he can be spoken of in the same breath as Trueman (307 at 21.57). However, while Trueman made an explosive impact with 29 wickets in his first series against India in 1952 (including one return of 8-31), it took him until the next decade to achieve real consistency. After 21 Tests, the point at which Gough stands, Trueman had taken only five more wickets. Given his bad luck with injuries, the young pretender can be proud of that.

Interesting misinformation...

Trueman's first mention in Wisden described him as "slow left arm"; Gough's first big write-up in one national newspaper called him "the son of a Barnsley rat-catcher".

Career statistics


Tests (67): debut 1952 (aged 21)

Bowling: 307 wickets (avge: 21.57) Best: 8-31 v India (Old Trafford) 1952

Batting: 981 runs (avge: 13.81) HS: 39* v New Zealand (The Oval) 1958

First class: debut 1949 (aged 18)

Bowling: 2,304 wickets (avge: 18.29) Best: 8-28

Batting: 9,231 runs (avge: 15.56); HS: 104


Tests (21): debut 1994 (aged 23)

Bowling: 85 wickets (avge: 28.24) Best: 6-49 v Australia (Sydney) 1994-95

Batting: 363 runs (avge: 13.96) HS: 65 v New Zealand (Old Trafford) 1994

First class: debut 1989 (aged 18)

Bowling: 470 wickets (avge: 27.30) Best: 7-28

Batting: 2,564 runs (avge: 16.75); HS: 121