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The Independent Online
When a wrenched knee forced Gordon Greenidge to miss the first Test at Headingley in 1991, one of the most notable international cricket careers was over. Only Viv Richards and Sir Garfield Sobers have scored more Test runs for the West Indies than the master batsman from Barbados, whose 108 matches brought 7,558 runs and 19 centuries, including seven against England.

"It was a premature finish, really," Greenidge said. "I could have played in the last two Tests but by then I had been ruled out of the series and replaced in the squad." Without a county since he left Hampshire, after 19 seasons in 1987, he had played cricket at the top level for the last time, although he later spent "two excellent years" representing Scotland.

Resident for the most part in England since his immigrant parents settled in Reading when he was a boy, 44-year-old Greenidge now lives in Nottingham, where he has been a full-time student for the last two years, pursuing a degree course in tourism and leisure at the city's Clarendon College.

"The idea of it all is to get a job," he said. "My studies finish this month and I'll be filling in application forms after that." As part of the course he spent six weeks in the marketing department at Trent Bridge.

Next week he is taking a party of his classmates on a 15-day field trip to Barbados to study the workings of a tourist-based economy. His fund- raising target of close to pounds 6,000 has still to be reached.

Although his studies have made regular cricket impossible, Greenidge represented the West Indies in the Masters tournament in India in March, playing before 40,000 against the hosts in the Bombay final.

Jon Culley