Trials of the waiting game

INSIDE CRICKET

Although they both went on to play a part in the Texaco Trophy series, it must have been a disappointment for Peter Martin and Alan Wells to miss the first one-day international on Wednesday. Having been picked for the squad and trained on the Tuesday, the dressing-room will have seemed a bit flat 24 hours later.

Wells in particular must have thought, having been picked at the age of 33 and with his A team experience, that he would be a good bet to play. They made him wait, all right, until yesterday.

When I first walked into an England dressing-room, for the Lord's Test in 1983 against New Zealand, I was pretty certain I would be in the eleven that took the field. I had been picked as the spinner following an injury to Phil Edmonds. We batted first and I was able to sit on the balcony for the first hour and take everything in.

In some respects it was all a bit of a let down. lt seemed just like joining any other team: school, second XI, county first team, or whatever. But there were plenty of characters lurking, as I later discovered (although Chris Tavare, who said nothing, wasn't exactly the life and soul). There was no safety when Botham was awake. Fine when he was sleeping, but a real menace otherwise.

With the 'Godfather' presence of Illingworth around, I think the current England dressing-room might struggle to achieve the same 'release' of tension that we managed. Some players might be a bit in awe of the chairman.

n n n

The Northamptonshire dressing-room remained very up-beat last Saturday, despite the fact that the team had been skittled out for 59 against Surrey in our second innings, leaving the task of defending a target of 200 to win the match. You cannot let a bad batting performance prey on the mind in first-class cricket. There was lots of positive thinking.

In the end we won by nine runs, with David Capel taking four wickets. Between innings it was decided that Kevin Curran should take the new ball ahead of Capel, but with Surrey at 50 without loss after eight overs, he got his chance and seemed intent on drawing attention to a captaincy error of judgment. Another inspired piece of man-management by AJ Lamb (or so he told me).

Anil Kumble, our new overseas signing to replace Curtly Ambrose this year, proved again what a great asset he is turning out to be. In the match, he bowled a lot of overs without conceding many runs - 29 off nearly 22 overs in the second innings. Surrey players said after the game that he is very difficult to get away. Throw in the seven wickets Kumble took in the match and you have a very strong showing. lt can be difficult for an overseas player to settle, but he is having no problems.

n n n

Lara-less Warwickshire may have turned the corner after a slowish start. A cheeky win at Durham in the last round of county championship games is a good sign that the holders are coming good again.

Warwickshire are already out of the B & H and have been disappointing to say the least in the Sunday League, both of them competitions which they won last season, but there was never any chance they would repeat their three-trophy haul this season. Some team will match it - just as someone will top Lara's 501- but it's not likely to be for some time.

In the county championship, Warwickshire have undoubtedly missed Lara - he scores so quickly they were always on the attack last season - but most county players would argue they have missed their top bowler, Tim Munton, at least as much. With 81 first-class wickets in 1994, he was many people's player of the year. He has yet to bowl a ball in 1995 after a back operation.

n n n

To add to their disappointment at losing to Warwickshire at their new ground at Chester-le-Street, Durham had their strip for the Sunday League game reported to the TCCB.

Chris Balderstone, an old Leicestershire playing colleague of mine who is now an umpire, was in charge for the Sunday fixture (and the championship game) and said he had no choice. The bounce was very variable, with Wayne Larkins out off a glove from a ball by Dermot Reeve. The two sides scored only 262 runs between them in the one-day game.

Those 22 yards are obviously all-important. Improving ground facilities for both players and spectators is commendable - Hampshire also plan to move to a new venue - but you cannot hurry a wicket. I don't know what weather they have had to put up with in Durham, but I hope they have not gone too early in starting first-class fixtures at Chester-le-Street.

Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
Sport
Jose Mourinho, Chelsea players celebrate Demba Ba's goal and Gus Poyet
sportLive coverage of today's final game between Chelsea and Sunderland
News
Brand said he
people
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
The North Korean TV advert for Taedonggang beer, that became a YouTube hit
food + drinkAnd what did it take to set up a taste test back in Wiltshire?
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
Voices
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit