Extra Cover; Dean is odds on to cause a flutter

Man in the Middle Kevin Dean (Derbyshire)
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THE ODDS on Kevin Dean achieving representative honours for England or England A are around 5-1 or 6-1. And that is from the horse's mouth, so to speak. The Derbyshire left-arm swing bowler spends his winters managing the Derby Irongate branch of Ladbrokes and knows what he is talking about.

"I'm not setting the odds at the moment, that is done from London, but that would be my job when my cricket career is over," says the genial Dean. "In fact I wouldn't mind being a Starting Price reporter, or working for Timeform perhaps."

Clearly the horse-racing bug has got him. "You could say I was hooked on it, I suppose," he acknowledges. "I like betting on sport, really. I work at Derby County football club for Ladbrokes in the winter and I go to Uttoxeter racecourse as well. I'm not a serious punter, or a professional gambler, but I like to have a punt, maybe five pounds, no more."

It is unlikely that he would have been able to calculate the odds on his taking a hat-trick, as he did against Kent at Derby earlier this month. It was the first of his first- class career. At the time he thought it was his first ever, but it now turns out that he may well have done the hat-trick in a Second XI match last season against Yorkshire at Castleford.

"I had taken wickets with the last two balls of one over and a team-mate reckoned I took a wicket with the first ball of my next," explains Dean, "but no one noticed. I'll check it out when I get a chance."

The 22-year-old Dean is still waiting for an opportunity to buttonhole the Second XI scorer to verify the feat, but the problem is that having established himself in the first team this year their paths no longer cross.

Dean, who, as a keen follower of horseflesh, has also mastered the basics of tick-tack, the hand signals used by on-course bookies for setting odds and laying off bets - "I bought some books on betting and one of them is about tick-tack" - has not exactly galloped into prominence and raced into the public eye, but this summer he is well on target to pass 50 wickets for the season, having taken 35 in the Championship at 23 and 38 in all first class, and he has a five wicket haul to his name in that lot - the first of what should be many.

He knows how to make a book; he also looks as if he is going to make the grade. You can bet on it. He probably will.

ECHOES OF THE PAST

Alan And Mark Butcher

Oh come on! A father and son? It's a little bit obvious isn't it?

Maybe. But, as the Americans might say, theirs is an interesting story. Filled with statistical and notable landmarks.

Such as? They have played against each other.

When? The Oval in July 1991. The 19-year-old Mark made his debut for Surrey in a Sunday League match against Glamorgan. Alan was captain of the Welsh county and admitted later that he was torn between wanting to win (which Glamorgan did, by three runs) and wanting Mark to have a successful entree into cricket. In the event Mark almost won the match, hitting 48 not out, including one of the biggest sixes ever seen on the ground - straight into the upper tier of the Bedser Stand. So Alan had it both ways.

That is more like something they don't have in common, playingon opposite sides.

Actually Alan began his career with Surrey, plying for them from 1972 to 1986, before being released. He joined Glamorgan and played for them until 1992.

But Mark plays for England. So did Alan.

How many times? Well, um, just the once, as it happens. Against India at The Oval in 1979, when he scored a total of 34 runs.

Come on, there must be more to them than that.

Yes, there is. They are both opening batsmen for a start. And they are both left-handers. Father had a range of attractive shots and was especially strong off the back foot, he was also an excellent fielder and a useful left-arm bowler. Mark also has a wide range of shots and has a similar temperament to his father, who scored 46 first-class hunderds in his career.

Anything else? Well, Alan's two brothers Ian and Martin also played county cricket. Ian for Leicestershire and Gloucestershire from 1980-90, while Martin played just one match for Surrey.

So? Well, Mark's brother Gary also plays first-class cricket for Glamorgan. So father and son have both got brothers who played the game at the top level.

And why have they suddenly sprung to mind?

Because Alan came out of retirement for Surrey's County Championship match last week at the age of 44. And while he was scoring 22 in his first serious match for six years, his son Mark was scoring his maiden Test hundred against South Africa at Headingley. And the thing is, since Surrey have some injury problems, the two of them may even wind up playing in the same team before the end of the season.

Roses rivals battle in title race

The Week Ahead

WITH LEADERS Surrey and second-placed Leicestershire sitting this one out, the onus is on the chasing pack to make make up ground.

Yorkshire and Lancashire meet at Headingley and, as if Roses matches did not have enough riding on them as it is, this week's bears an even greater burden of expectation.

Yorkshire look to have the edge. They will have Darren Gough back to join their potent attack and Darren Lehmann, their hugely talented Australian batsman, is in the middle of a glorious run of form. But Lancashire cannot be written off. Michael Atherton has scored more centuries, six, than any other current Lancashire player has managed against Yorkshire (Clive Lloyd also hit half a dozen Roses match hundreds) and there is every reason to expect something big from him. However, the attack has fallen a little bit short of expectation this summer and they will need to rectify that if they are to emerge with victory.

Meanwhile, if Essex are to pull themselves off the bottom of the table then they must seize the initiative early over a faltering Hampshire side at Portsmouth. Hampshire were hammered by Kent to end their late season push up the order and, since Essex's two wins have both been away from home, at Bath and Edgbaston, they must be in with a fair shout.

INS AND OUTS

HIGH ROLLERS

Loye (Northamptonshire) 322*

Gatting (Middlesex) 241

Langer (Middlesex) 233*

James (Glamorgan) 227

Lara (Warwickshire) 226

Ripley (Northamptonshire) 209

Fulton (Kent) 207

Hooper (Kent) 203

Lehmann (Yorkshire) 200

Habib (Leicestershire) 198

NERVOUS NINETIES

Leatherdale (Worcestershire) 99

Lehmann (Yorkshire) 99

Maynard (Glamorgan) 99

Slater (Derbyshire) 99

Trescothick (Somerset) 98

Langer (Middlesex) 97

K Newell (Sussex) 97

Stewart (Surrey) 97

Weston (Derbyshire) 97

RUN MACHINES

(Most individual centuries)

Hick (Worcestershire) 7

Langer (Middlesex) 5

Crawley (Lancashire) 5

Lehmann (Yorkshire) 5

Loye (Northamptonshire) 5

Adams (Sussex) 4

Hooper (Kent) 4

Knight (Warwickshire) 4

Maddy (Leicestershire) 4

Moody (Worcestershire) 4

DUCK HUNTERS

Betts (Durham) 9

Lewry (Sussex) 7

Maddy (Leicestershire) 7

McGrath (Yorkshire) 7

Solanki (Worcestershire) 7

Stephenson (Hampshire) 7 White (Hampshire) 7

HITTING THE STUMPS

Walsh (Gloucestershire) 28

Giddins (Warwickshire) 26

Lewry (Sussex) 22

Betts (Durham) 21

Giles (Warwickshire) 21

Wasim Akram (Lancashire) 21

Caddick (Somerset) 20

Thomas (Glamorgan) 20

Mullally (Leicestershire) 19

Gough (Yorkshire) 18

McLean (Hampshire) 18

TOP GLOVES

Blakey (Yorkshire) 72

Speight (Durham) 66

Nixon (Leicestershire) 62

Russell (Gloucestershire) 59

Aymes (Hampshire) 59

Rhodes (Worcestershire) 53

Brown (Middlesex) 52

Marsh (Kent) 51

Hegg (Lancashire) 47

Stewart (Surrey) 45

EDITED BY DAVID LLEWELLYN

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