Hard work now paying off for Hoggard

A hat-trick of the highest calibre before a euphoric crowd at one of the world's most romantic grounds was not necessarily at the top of Matthew Hoggard's wish list for England's triumphant tour of the West Indies. "I didn't think I was going to come on the trip and I didn't think I would have played in the first game," he said the morning after England's eight-wicket win at the Kensington Oval which secured a 3-0 lead in the series.

Hoggard began the latest West Indian rout on Saturday by dismissing numbers four, five and six in their order with an impeccable exhibition of clinically accurate swing bowling, and yesterday revealed the unlikely part played by a chance meeting with a Leeds fitness trainer in a Colombo gym late last year.

It was the most emphatic manner in which to complete a circle. Barely a year ago, Hoggard was the leader-in-waiting of England's attack, but no sooner was the 2003 season under way than he sustained a knee injury. Recalled by England for the first part of their winter tours, he was dropped for the last two matches in Sri Lanka, where the pitches did not complement his style. Younger guns had overtaken him.

But England's coach, Duncan Fletcher, had long ago recognised that his willing approach and capacity for work were not to be despatched lightly. Hoggard has been given the new ball in the Caribbean and Michael Vaughan described him yesterday as the engine of his attack.

Hoggard, Yorkshire to his boots, had another way of putting it. "My job description on this tour has involved not going for any runs at one end," he said. "As Vaughany has put it, I'm on the shop floor doing the hard work while the others are upstairs in the office taking the wickets. Wickets are bonuses."

And what a handsome dividend it was. Hoggard changed out of the blue overalls and into morning dress in the space of three lovely deliveries. Keeping the ball up to the bat, he had Ramnarash Sarwan and Ryan Hinds caught in the slips and Shivnarine Chanderpaul patently leg-before to reduce West Indies to 45-5. He admitted that only Chanderpaul's wicket was the result of precise swing, but the accuracy and the length were still those of a top-class bowler.

As the 10th England bowler to take a hat-trick and the first since Darren Gough, who sent him a text message, Hoggard embodies the hard work that Vaughan insists on from his squad. He was in Sri Lanka when he met Gary Simpson, a former rugby league player from Leeds, who was on holiday with his family.

"He was taking up most of the gym, we got talking and he said that if I want to start training I should give him a call," Hoggard explained. "It's all very well going to the gym but it's different having someone pushing you and making it fun."

Hoggard has taken one other hat-trick, for Pudsey Congregational thirds in the Dales Council League, when he was 14. It was not quite the same as for England in Bridgetown another 14 years on.

THE LAST TIME 1968 REVISITED

* The Beatles released "Hey Jude" and The Beatles, popularly known as "The White Album".

* The My Lai massacre, in which US troops killed more than 500 Vietnamese, occurred in March. It was covered up for a year.

* The Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia, ending the "Velvet Revolution".

* Martin Luther King was assassinated on 4 April in Memphis by James Earl Ray.

* Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis.

* In May, French students and workers combine to march through Paris in what became known as Les Evenements, inspiring a wave of strikes and riots throughout France. There were demonstrations in England, too, principally against the Vietnam War.

* Valerie Solana of SCUM (Society For Cutting Up Men) shot Andy Warhol in his New York loft.

* The US presidential candidate Robert Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan in San Francisco during the California primary.

* Rod Laver beat Tony Roche in the Wimbledon men's singles final, while Billie Jean King beat Judy Tegart in the women's final.

* Manchester City won the League, Everton the FA Cup and Manchester United the European Cup.

* Jim Clark was killed in a Formula Two race at Hockenheim.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence