Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gough Beaten Doubters

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gough Beaten Doubters

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Gibson

Darren Gough has hit back at the people who wrote off his Test career last winter when he hobbled out of the Ashes tour without playing a meaningful part.

Among the doubters were medical experts, who suggested alternative employment should be sought rather than pounding a right knee, thrice operated on in the past 18 months, into a delivery stride a hundred times a day for a living.

Yet Yorkshire paceman Gough, 32, has defied advice to prosper in England's one-day programme this summer and turned his attention to adding to his 228 Test wickets.

Gritted teeth and buckets of ice have aided his return but few could have envisaged that the man who claimed the final wicket to complete a 2-1 victory over the South Africans in 1998 would be in a position to bowl the opening delivery of the five-Test npower series between the countries which opens at Edgbaston next Thursday.

But Gough, who bagged 14 NatWest wickets in nine innings during the recent limited-overs successes, said: "To all those people who doubted me, bad luck. Proving them wrong has been my inspiration.

"I have proved that with determination and pride you can come back whatever the difficulties.

"I'm totally confident that I am ready for Test cricket again and the encouraging thing is that the general public in England want me to play."

About the latter assertion there is no doubt, given that genuine matchwinners like Gough are a precious commodity.

But he has bowled less than 120 first-class overs this summer and, should the Edgbaston surface be as flat as it was last year in the innings victory over Sri Lanka, his durability will be tested. Claiming one-day wickets when batsmen are looking to score quickly is also a sharp contrast to the probing required to try opponents' patience at Test level.

Gough did get through the County Championship defeat by Durham, which ended on Friday, with figures of two for 145 and said: "I bowled nearly 40 overs in that game and I feel as if I could have bowled another 15 without any problem. …

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