The year of 1970 saw the births of no fewer than six babies who would all eventually represent Yorkshire CCC. Two of them captained the county and another pair gave outstanding service to their respective countries. Paul Dyson looks back at the sextet’s varied careers. The photo of Darren Gough appears by courtesy of Mick Pope.
An Australian who will be coaching the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred this coming season marked his 50th birthday last month. I use the word ‘marked’ rather than celebrated as he spent the day being ill and had later to undergo a heart operation. A speedy recovery is very much hoped for Darren Lehmann who is regarded as the best of Yorkshire’s many overseas players. He had seven seasons with the county, spread over a ten-year period (1997-2006), as a brilliant left-handed batsman and useful left-arm spin bowler and his batting average of almost 70 is higher than any other White Rose batsman with over 500 first-class runs. He memorably signed off with an score of 339 in his final innings – two runs short of the county all-time record.
Born in Gawler, South Australia, Lehmann played for that state and Victoria and his total of 13,635 runs was, at the time, a record for the Sheffield Shield. He represented his country in 27 Tests and 117 ODIs. The two blots on his career are his one season (2002) as Yorkshire captain, which ended in relegation, and his finale as Australia’s coach (2015-18) when he had to resign after the fall-out of the infamous ‘sandpapergate’ episode in South Africa. However, Yorkshire supporters had nothing but admiration for his batting and his return to Headingley will surely will be welcomed.
Earlier this month and fifty years ago was born Inzamam-ul-Haq. He had only a very brief career with Yorkshire, appearing in a total of six matches in two formats (first-class and List A) towards the end of the 2007 season. His tall, bulky frame was seen standing at slip at a chilly Scarborough with his hands in his pockets. Not the usual image of a Pakistan batsman who played in 117 Tests and 375 ODIs. His 329 against New Zealand in 2002 is his country’s second-highest Test innings.
Michael Bevan will mark his 50th birthday in early May; he was with Yorkshire for two seasons (1995-96) and made a huge impact in changing the attitude of the players towards having more of a winning mentality. As the county’s overseas player, he was influentail in it achieving two successive Championship top-eight finishes for the first time for 16 years as well as third place in the Sunday league and two semi-final places in his final season.
His 18 Tests and 232 ODIs for Australia demonstrate where his talents mostly lay and he was the first outstanding batsman to be regarded as a ‘finisher’ – the one who batted throughout the latter part of the chasing innings to see his side to victory. His average of 53.58 was a world record until only recent times.
Bradley Parker was born in June, 1970 in Mirfield, Wakefield and played for Yorkshire for eight seasons from 1992 but never really established himself in the team. A middle-order batsman, his best season was in 1997 when he scored over 800 runs in first-class cricket, including his highest innings of 138 not out against Oxford University, and over 300 runs in List A cricket. Followiong his release he spent ten seasons with Northumberland.
Matthew Doidge will be 50 in early July; born in Horsforth, he played regularly in the Bradford League for Bowling Old Lane and both Pudsey clubs, one of which, Pudsey Congs, he captained. A very promising left-arm spinner, he made his debut for the 2nd XI when aged 18 and celebrated his 20th birthday on the final day of his first-class debut against the Indians in 1990. Surprisingly, that remained his only first-team experience; it was something of a disappointment in that he did not bat and took no wickets in his 24 overs. He did, however, gain List A experience with the Yorkshire Cricket Board, scoring a half-century but never being called on to bowl.
For ten years, or so, Darren Gough was England’s outstanding pace bowler. A total of 229 wickets in 58 Tests and an England record, since beaten, of 234 wickets in ODIs are figures which are a testament to his effectiveness and success. Unfortunately he was the first prominent Yorkshire player to receive an England contract, when the system was introduced in 2000, and often received negative support from Yorkshire members, through no fault of his own, when he was unavailable for county cricket, some supporters finding it difficult to come to terms with the new system.