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Lancashire supporters recall Frank Hayes as one of the most gifted young cricketers of his generation. His 1970 debut, after he had completed his studies at Sheffield University, was greeted with excitement as he made 94 and 99 in his first two Championship matches.

Hayes played for England three years later, but an unbeaten century in his first Test at The Oval was a start to which he never lived up. In 17 Test innings he averaged 15.25, although he played entirely against strong West Indies opposition.

History judges him as unfulfilled, a verdict he does not dispute. "Perhaps I should have done better," he says. "But I'm not at all bitter. If I did not do myself justice, it was down to me."

Injury forced Hayes to retire in 1984. After pursuing a business venture in Cheshire, six years ago he became cricket master at Felsted School in rural Essex, where he also teaches physics and maths. "I fell in love with the place at first sight," he said, "and now I derive as much from teaching as I do from coaching."

Now 48, he has a son, Richard, who captained the Essex Under-16 cricket team last season, and a daughter, Emma, 22, who is a nanny in Greece. His wife, Gill, is a prep school teacher.