Cricket: Reeve tuned to one-day role

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The Independent Online
MANY cricketers have struggled to emerge from the shadow of a famous father - Alec Stewart being England's latest - but from a famous mum?

When Dermot Reeve ordered his cuttings books before the tour he did not expect to fill them with stories on his mother, Monica. But while Mrs Reeve has made headlines as England's stand-in scorer, Dermot has the unwanted consolation of being the only player in 17 untarnished by Test-match failure.

The emergence of Graeme Hick as a genuine all-rounder even threatend to extinguish Reeve's one-day role - which he accepts is the reason for him being here - but England wisely decided to stick to their only winning formula.

Mrs Reeve must have been tempted to reach for the Tipp-Ex at times because her son's performances on paper do not add up to much - 64 runs in four matches and 127 runs for one wicket. But Reeve's contribution to England's slick one-day unit has hidden value.

An intelligent bowler who makes up in variety what he lacks in pace, his runs-an-over rate in 19 internationals is less than four. With the bat, he has been out only once in India and, as Keith Fletcher said, he was the ideal partner for Neil Fairbrother on Monday.

Surprisingly, given the outlandish shots he plays, he has only been dismissed in three of his 12 England innings and averages 64. All that red ink at the back of mum's scorebook usually indicates an 'averages' mentality but the cross-batted pulls and carves are more Stone Roses than stonewaller.

The analogy fits as, perhaps sensing he would have time on his hands, Reeve brought a guitar with him to learn on tour. So far he has got little further than growing his hair to the required length and cluttering airline gangways.

Of all the party he has most obviously enjoyed India, which he puts down to his background and personality. 'I grew up in a Hong Kong school with 28 different nationalities. I used to play cricket in England in the summer, and Australia in the winter, so I'm used to travelling and mixing. I am naturally bubbly - some might call me obnoxious - so even though I haven't played in the Tests I've been philosophical about it.'

ENGLAND 12 (v India, fifth one-day international, Gwalior): A J Stewart (wkt), R A Smith, G A Hick, M W Gatting, N H Fairbrother, G A Gooch (capt), C C Lewis, D A Reeve, P A J DeFreitas, P W Jarvis, D E Malcolm, J E Emburey.

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