Hard work now paying off for Hoggard
Monday 05 April 2004
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.
Arsenal transfer news: Atletico Madrid closing in on Santi Cazorla - reports
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger set to cancel moves for Sami Khedira and Morgan Schneiderlin in favour of Jack Wilshere - reports
Arturo Vidal: Manchester United bid £39m for Juventus midfielder
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho wants both Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech to stay at Stamford Bridge
Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss