Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bicknell Is Happy to Be a Reject

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bicknell Is Happy to Be a Reject

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEX MURPHY

MARTIN Bicknell is a bowler many experts felt should have been on duty at some stage during England's multifaceted winter schedule.

Despite taking 72 firstclass wickets for Surrey, at just over 21 runs apiece, the right-arm fast-medium swing bowler's claims for a Test recall were ignored as England's injury-hit attack was taken apart by the Aussies last summer.

Nor did the 32-year-old win a place in the one-day team for the present tour of Zimbabwe or the squad to play Tests in India and New Zealand.

Yet Bicknell does not want sympathy. In fact, he confesses he is quite relieved not to be touring.

He has not even filled the void by arranging a winter's coaching in Australia or South Africa.

Bicknell is happier working at the golf business he has been building up for the last three winters.

He said: "To be honest, I'm quite glad my touring days are over. I no longer have that desire to go abroad. I have a young family and I'm happy at home in Lightwater.

"The thought of going away for four and a half months doesn't excite me."

Bicknell will spend his time arranging corporate golf events, running his website (www.

martinbicknellgolfclub.com) and selling golf supplies.

He is running a Ryder Cup-style celebrity tournament in Portugal involving sports personalities such as Gladstone Small, John Emburey and Frank McLintock.

He admitted: "Golf is my passion and I hope the business is something that will sustain me when I retire from cricket."

At least he gets to travel.

It was only a few years ago that England new-ball bowler Andy Caddick spent the entire winter painting the stands at Taunton's County Ground.

Bicknell added: "The best thing is that it gives me a complete break from cricket. I will step up my training after December, but I'll report back mentally fresh and ready for another good season. …

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