It's No Holiday If You're Hoggard

The Journal (Newcastle, England), April 8, 2006 | Go to article overview

It's No Holiday If You're Hoggard


Byline: By Richard Gibson

Matthew Hoggard began the one-day series in India with earache, picked up stomach ache along the way and then got a pain in his neck.

The England fast bowler, one of the heroes of the drawn Test campaign, was meant to be with wife Sarah on a three-week holiday in Goa after it ended, but those plans were shelved when he was called into the limited-overs squad.

Although the 29-year-old is keen to rid himself of his Test specialist tag and make a bid for next year's World Cup ( he returned for the four-wicket defeat yesterday, his first appearance in 14 months. It was not a popular move with his wife.

Last year they forfeited a holiday in Italy when he was held on in South Africa, after not being in the original party, following another aborted trip to Mauritius earlier in his career.

"It is the third time they have done it to me so I should be used to it by now," said Hoggard.

"It was a little bit difficult. Sarah was upset but this is professional cricket and there is no prouder moment than being selected. Playing for your country is what you want to do."

Hoggard was overlooked for the opening two matches of seven and ruled out of the third, in Goa, by a stomach bug.

His discomfort levels were not eased in India's series-clinching victory, however, as he collected none for 59 and was pole-axed in his follow-through by a Suresh Raina return drive, which hit him below the chin.

"It is a little bit sore," Hoggard said. "I have no idea how fast the ball came back because I didn't see it."

Hoggard's Test performances here were outstanding: his 13 wickets cost just 17.84 and the star-studded Indian line-up scored at only slightly above two-runs-per-over off him. …

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