Paternal advice helps Sidebottom to steady misfiring pace attack

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The Independent Online

Ryan Sidebottom responded to a rare sighting of his father at an England match to become the steady influence on a wayward attack unable to halt New Zealand's progress in the opening Test.

The Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer's promising late spell would have been particularly satisfying because he could share his success with his mother and father, Arnie and Gillian, who had never seen him bowl as an England player.

But former Yorkshire and England seamer Arnie, an enthusiastic supporter of Ryan throughout his career, may also point out a disappointing opening session when the tourists failed to utilise a new ball only 10 overs old and allowed New Zealand to add a further 188 runs.

"He's never been one for pushing me or interfering with my career, he's always wanted me to get on with it," said Sidebottom. "He's always had good words to say and gives me encouragement, but he does watch and if something needs tinkering with he'll always give me good advice and that's been great for my career.

"He's a bit of a nervous wreck really and doesn't tend to watch that much. He will stay at home and watch the highlights and point out the things I didn't do the previous day."

All first-class cricketers in England will be tested for skin cancer this season. In an initiative by the Professional Cricketers Association about 400 county players will have checks for the disease, which is now the UK's most common form of cancer.

No England-based players are thought to have have contracted skin cancer through exposure to the sun during matches, although there have been several causes for concern.

China have recruited a former Pakistan Test player to coach the national cricket team for the 2010 Asian Games in Beijing. Rashid Khan, who played four Tests and 29 one-dayers, has been coaching China's junior and women's teams since 2006.

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