Headingley Diary

Darren the third to make his name in Test game
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The Independent Online

Never mind the background, the name's the thing. England's 640th Test cricketer also became the third Darren to play for England. The previous two had contrasting fortunes – Maddy, who won three Test caps and found some later fame as a Twenty20 specialist, and Gough, who played 58 Tests and became a TV dancing champion.

Darren Pattinson may or may not overtake either or both. The most durable player in terms of longevity, if not freedom from injury, in the side at Leeds is Andrew Flintoff, cap No 591 10 years ago on Wednesday.

Of the 49 players to have made their debut since Flintoff, seven are no longer playing professionally: Warren Hegg, Aftab Habib, Ed Giddins, Gavin Hamilton, Ian Ward, Richard Dawson and Richard Johnson.

Coaches miss the test bus

To demonstrate a proper commitment to English cricket rather than simply televising the game, Sky Sports sponsor the coaching development programme. Peter Moores, the highest-profile coach in the land, is keenly involved.

Some 5,500 coaches have benefited from the programme, and there was a 27 per cent increase in the numbers playing cricket last year. Do they or Sky think it is worth it when the first player to find favour with the current bunch of selectors learnt all his cricket in Australia?

Not bound by boundaries

Two good things (at least) have come out of the grubby edifice that is Headingley during this Test. The ground may be awful – with dreams of grandeur, but not imminently – but theyknow how to record the game in Yorkshire.

An anthology is out of the work of the great underrated cricket reporter J M Kilburn, correspondent of the 'Yorkshire Post' for 42 years until he retired in 1976. 'Sweet Summers' (Great Northern Books) has been edited by Duncan Hamilton – winner of last year's William Hill award for the best sports book of the year, about Brian Clough – and it amply depicts Kilburn's precise description, deep knowledge and love of the game.

"My devotion is to cricket, not specifically Yorkshire cricket or England cricket or any locality or individual feature of cricket," he wrote. It is available from greatnorthernbooks.co.uk – though Kilburn, who wrote all his words in longhand, would not have embraced the internet.

The other joy has been to see the 110th edition of the Yorkshire CCC yearbook. It is more detailed and takes its duties more seriously than all its rivals. It lists among many other things the 38 Yorkshire matches to have been abandoned.

Don't bank on barmy idea

As part of a gimmick on Friday, Yorkshire Bank, sponsors of Opera North, asked some professional singers to give lessons to the Barmy Army. The bank should know there's much more chance of beating the credit crunch than improving the Army's caterwaul.

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