Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Not Ready to Be Out

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Not Ready to Be Out

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Darren Gough has set his sights on making a return to the international cricket arena at the Riverside, less than six months after he was told his career was over.

The Yorkshire quickie has not played in a Test since facing the Australians at The Oval in August 2001, after suffering a knee injury playing in a triangular one-day tournament in New Zealand.

He briefly returned for last summer's one day internationals against India and Sri Lanka but broke down on the eve of this winter's Ashes Tour and, after three operations, was told by a specialist he would never play first class cricket again.

But the 32-year-old refused to give up and, although currently sidelined with a hamstring strain, is back in England contention and in line to be named in the squad for the North-East's first Test match at Chester-le-Street next month.

"I seriously thought about quitting. When I came back from Australia, I thought about packing it in and going into other avenues. I did a lot of work with TV and I enjoyed it," admitted Gough yesterday while on a visit to the Riverside to promote the Test against Zimbabwe.

"But you can't take away that feeling when you've got the ball in your hand, the first ball of an npower Test match, and that's what I want to get back to doing.

"I've got the rest of my career to think about other things. I just want to play Test and one-day cricket at the moment.

"I've had three operations and seen specialist after specialist. I went to see a specialist in Australia who told me to find another job, basically.

"The first thing I did, being a northern lad and being from Barnsley, was to try to prove him wrong and I've done that.

"I've proved that with the desire to want to get back and play Test cricket and enthusiasm, you can get back and I'm going to do the same again, hopefully, from my hamstring.

"I would like to think I would have been in line for a return this week if I had not picked up the strain playing for Yorkshire. …

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