Cricket: White does the donkey work

Extra Cover: A week in cricket: MAN IN THE MIDDLE: CRAIG WHITE (Yorkshire)
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England all-rounder Craig White always looks forward to Yorkshire's visits to Scarborough, where they take on Durham from Wednesday onwards. It is one occasion when he can wake up on the morning of a match in his own bed.

White, Yorkshire-born but raised in Australia, has lived in the resort for almost seven years, despite it being a 70-mile drive from the county's headquarters in Leeds.

"None of the other players lives so far away but I like being here," he said. "It's a nice place, even though I don't see much of it during the season. I have to stay away even for home matches."

One of his off-duty pleasures is to go to the beach with his daughter, Megan, who celebrated her third birthday last week. "I take her for donkey rides and stuff. She loves it."

Currently out of favour with the England selectors, White's season had been relatively quiet until last week, when he burst into form with a vengeance, both times at the expense of Leicestershire. First came an extraordinary innings of 148 off just 114 balls in the AXA Life League, his first Sunday century, as Yorkshire shared in a tied match at Grace Road.

Three days later, he struck an unbeaten 96 in the NatWest Trophy on the same ground. This time, Yorkshire finished easy winners.

"It all came from nowhere really," he said. "Up until then I had not scored a run for weeks. I'd felt like I was batting left-handed; nothing would go right. If anything, the second knock was better because it was not such a good pitch for playing shots and I had to work much harder.

"I've been bowling well all season. I'm thinking about playing well for Yorkshire above anything else but if I can string together a few good performances I still have hopes of getting back in the England picture."

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