There are times in your life when you do look back. And as Darren Gough calls for the end of his professional cricketing career, this has to be one of those moments.
To my favorite cricketer, my idea of boyish charm and an absolute childhood hero, The Antifits raises a toast to the English and Yorkshire fast bowler, Darren Gough.
Rob Smyth writes in the Wisden Cricketer:
"Perhaps Gough is seen as too frivolous a character, or someone whose love of a beer and a good time might not set the best example. Perhaps Warne is seen as being of quintessentially Australian stock, whereas in this country Gough is seen as simple folk, somebody who excelled but was not always entirely sure why. Either way, it is nonsense. Like Warne, Gough is blessed with a quite brilliant game intelligence, one that England would be foolish to ignore in years to come. For now, however, we should raise a glass or 12 to the sort of bowler we won’t see it again in a hurry."
Also, read Rob Bagchi's tribute in today's Guardian here.
I dug up some 2003 archives for more Darren Gough material around the time when he retired from test cricket. On August 5, 2003 Andrew Miller in Cricinfo tracked the highs and lows of Darren Gough's Test career. Hear what the likes of Dickie Bird, Ray Illingworth and Bob Willis had to say about his test retirement. "They paid him the highest compliment possible when they said he played the game like an Australian." Read the Aussie perspective by David Wiseman here after Goughie's test retirement on August 11, 2003.
And for those of you who have no idea I am talking about, his wikipedia page would not be a bad idea.
Damn Gough, thank you for all those years when I was a kid, and you were everything I wanted to be.