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Ed Kemp

The Definitive: Darren Gough

Ed Kemp by Ed Kemp

Darren Gough dissects his finest feats and landmark moments, in an interview with Ed Kemp.

8-13 | Yorkshire Schools U19s v North Yorkshire Schools, 1987

Football was always my main love, I was a YTS at Rotherham; cricket was something I played in the summer months. I couldn’t get in Yorkshire Schools under 14s or under 15s, and then at 16 I got picked for the under 16s and under 19s. In the first game I played for the under 19s I got 8-13 against North Yorkshire Schools and I went straight into the second team. Football was still my love, but it wasn’t long before I went down the cricket route.

60* & 5-41 | Yorkshire v Lancashire, County Championship, Scarborough, 1991

I hadn’t been getting the opportunities I thought I should have had since my debut in 1989, but in this game I showed people how good I was. It was a very good pitch, so to get wickets and runs in one game, people started asking ‘why isn’t he playing more’? It was great, especially in the Roses match, because now I was starting to understand what it meant and how proud you should be to play for Yorkshire.

5-50 | Hampshire v Yorkshire, County Championship, Southampton, 1993

I was in between lands at the time: some days I’d bowl quick and other days I’d bowl within myself. I’d got four wickets, and Shaun Udal came in and Richie Richardson, our overseas player at the time, said to me: “Kill him. Just run in and bowl as fast you can.” I did and I ended up with the five-fer. That was a huge turning point, the point where I realised I got success from bowling fast, and that my identity as a cricketer was to be a fast bowler who swings the ball.

4-20 | Glamorgan v Yorkshire, 40-over match, Cardiff, 1994

I was selected for the England squad for the first time in the morning, and that day we were playing on television against Glamorgan and I got 4-20. In my second spell I got four wickets for about two runs with reverse swing at the end. I think that just about sealed my place in the team for the one-dayers.

3-58 & 6-42 | England v South Africa, Fifth Test, Headingley, 1998

They needed 34 to win and we needed two wickets. Gussy (Angus Fraser) got Donald out, then I got Ntini out and I ended up with six-fer, winning the Test match on my home ground. A few of us had gone down with illness, I didn’t do a proper warmup because I was that ill. But absolutely nothing was going to get that ball out of my hand, I wanted to take that final wicket, and when I got it, it was just brilliant. It was free entry on the last day, and it was absolutely packed solid; the ground was electric – I’ve got a great picture from that Test at my home, it’s amazing.

5-96 & 2-54 | Australia v England, Fourth Test, Melbourne, 1998

Dean Headley got six wickets in the second innings. I got five in the first and got the last two wickets in the second innings, but what joy – they only needed 12 to win, and we’d been having a bad time on the tour. We came back there, when everybody had written us off. What a game, what a day’s play that was. Dean Headley bowled beautifully, something in his action just clicked, and I was lucky to be involved at the end of a great team performance.

3-61 & 1-51 | Australia v England, Fifth Test, Sydney, 1999

Obviously the Ashes hat-trick sticks out – the only one of the century by an Englishman. I always did well at Sydney; I’d done well there in 1994 when I was Man of the Match. When I was stood at the back of my mark on the third one, I was convinced I’d get it. I don’t think I doubted it. All I thought was ‘just hit the stumps’. The crowd was all behind me, I think even the Aussie fans were behind us. It was one where the noise just carries you through, and it probably ended up being about five miles an hour quicker than I normally bowl because of the adrenaline.

5-61 & 3-40 | England v Pakistan, First Test, Lord’s, 2001

I think I had the record for the number of four-fers at Lord’s, I could never get on the board, and luckily for me I did it in one of my last series there. I’d had eight four-fers at Lord’s I think, which is ridiculous. Some people with only one five-fer in Tests are on that board. It took me a while but it was nice to get up there eventually.

3-16 | England v Australia, Only T20 International, The Rose Bowl, 2005

The first match of the summer, and it was a fantastic game. I’d come back, maybe about my eighth comeback, and I was really, really massively pumped up for that game, and this was the start of something special for England, in 2005. We thrashed them by 100 runs at The Rose Bowl, and the momentum carried on through the summer. We beat them with pure aggression and this England team started to believe now that we could beat the Aussies.

3-28 & 3-50 | Surrey v Yorkshire, County Championship, The Oval, 2007

The first game as captain for Yorkshire when I went back was a huge game for me. It was at The Oval – not a great start; you wouldn’t have wanted to go down to The Oval for your first game. It was always going to be a massive game, and to win my first match as skipper for Yorkshire was an amazing experience, an amazing game, and it was a great team performance. Captain of Yorkshire, and you win your first game, I was on top of the world.

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