Cricket interview

Angus Fraser, former England and Middlesex seam bowler

It’s time to rewind the clock back to the 1990s for this month’s interview. A bowler who was consistent, hugely accurate, a wicket-taker and someone who, but for injury and strange selection decisions, should have played many, many more Test matches for his country, Angus Fraser.

And with the recent tour of the West Indies drawing to a close, it seemed a good place to start our discussion, particularly given Gus’ success in the Caribbean. In 17 Test matches against the West Indies home and away, he took an incredible 70 wickets at average of just 23.70 and at an economy rate of 2.69. So, what made him so successful, particularly on those Caribbean pitches and against arguably one of the strongest sides (and batting line-ups) to have ever played the game?

“It’s a good question. I just love the Caribbean. When we played, every island was like a celebration of the sport. The West Indies had a damned good side and it was raw, tough cricket. The pitches definitely favoured my style of bowling. In somewhere like Australia where the pitches were quicker and bouncier, they probably favoured slightly quicker bowlers than me. In the West Indies, where the pitches were typically lower and slower, the balls would tend to hit the stumps more meaning batsmen had to play at every delivery. This brought more LBWs into play. And of course, the mentality of the West Indies’ batsmen was always to be slightly more aggressive and they didn’t necessarily respect bowlers as they perhaps should. All of which helped bowlers like me and Glenn McGrath, at our paces, to be so effective in those conditions.”

Many more West Indies stories to come, including that 46 all out “which I was the not out batsman, remember!” but, as with all of our interviewees let’s rewind to those early days. What was Gus’ cricketing upbringing?

“Well, I was actually born in Lancashire and though we moved to London when I was two, I grew up as a Lancashire supporter. My brother was born in Edgware, so when we played cricket as kids in the garden, I’d be Lancashire and he’d be Middlesex!”

“My father played a lot of club cricket for Stanmore. He was never a great cricketer - I think he might have played one game for the 1st eleven - but captained their 3rd team. So, my brother (Alastair) and I would spend many Saturday’s and Sunday’s at Stanmore in the nets while Dad was playing. You obviously play all sports as a kid, but the fact your father played a lot of cricket meant you spent more time in a cricketing environment than others.”

And who were some of those early cricketing heroes?

“1981 and Botham’s Ashes was obviously a big memory and had a huge influence on me. It was always fast bowlers that I enjoyed watching more so than batsmen. Dennis Lillee was another.”

Gus and his brother followed in his father’s footsteps and both pulled on the Stanmore sweaters. Yet, it was his brother who made the bigger initial impression.

“My brother was a better athlete than me and still is! We were two decent youth cricketers. He played in all of the Middlesex youth team sides and was picked for all of the England age group sides and was seen as the Fraser that was going to make it. I didn’t really play any representative cricket until I was 17.”

“Luck played a huge part in my development. I was fortunate that cricket was a big sport at my school. I had a brother rather than a sister, so that pushed me in my cricket. I lived in a street where there were two or three other lads of similar ages who all enjoyed playing cricket, so I’d always be playing on the street and on the grass verges etc. I suddenly shot up in size and caught Middlesex’s eye.”

Gus made his debut for Stanmore’s 1st XI at the age of 16 his performances in the Middlesex League soon got noticed by Don Bennett, the Middlesex coach.

“Suddenly you hear than Don had been at a Stanmore game to watch you bowl and then all of a sudden at the age of 17 I was getting picked for Middlesex Schools and Middlesex Young Cricketers and by 18 I was offered a first-class contract. So, for me everything happened very late and very quickly.”

And what was it like walking into a successful Middlesex environment that contained famous names such as Gatting, Butcher, Radley, Downton, Emburey, Edmonds, Cowan, Williams and Daniel?

“It was a wonderful side. But, in those days there used to be a real hierarchy around the dressing room in that there were two groups: capped players and uncapped players. The uncapped players didn’t get certain privileges and your job as an uncapped player was to look after the capped players. But slowly those attitudes started to change. The arrival of players like Phil Tufnell probably helped with that!”

The success and strength of that Middlesex side also meant England regularly came calling, opening up opportunities for the younger players. “At times we were probably losing 3 or 4 players a Test match to England. Add injuries to that and opportunities opened up for players like myself and suddenly your thrust into the spotlight.”

And what made Middlesex such as successful side in your early years?

“Success was expected. For a six or seven-year period there probably wasn’t a season where we weren’t either winning a trophy or competing for one and we were very serious about our work. We used to get together a week earlier than anyone else for pre-season to work on our fitness. OK, it wasn’t as scientific as it is now but while other counties were probably easing back into their pre-season routine, we were in a dusty gym in Ealing having an intensive week of fitness training. It wasn’t breath-taking but it showed how serious we all were about our cricket and how far ahead of other counties we were at that moment in time.”

In Gus’ time as a player at Middlesex, the side won numerous one-day titles and cups but the icing on the cake were 3 county championships. One of the keys to success was the side’s ability to evolve, quickly.

“In a relatively short time we lost the likes of Barlow, Radley, Downton, Edmonds and Daniel. In their place came the likes of Desmond Haynes, Mark Ramprakash, John Carr, Philip Tufnell, Keith Brown and me. We became a very different team. We still had a core of that older side with the likes of Gatting, Emburey and Cowan etc, but we became a ‘mate’s together’ team. We all socialised a lot and, in a way, it was a very chalk and cheese environment to what there had been before.”

And with all the success that the side achieved, what were some of Gus’ early Middlesex highlights?

“Being awarded my county cap on the balcony at Lords was a big thing for me. Getting a wicket on my debut, in my 3rd over, knocking Jeff Hopkins’ middle stump out of the ground was brilliant – although I did end up with match figures of 1/120! Winning all of those titles was obviously big, but a particular high was the NatWest final in 1988 when we beat Worcestershire in the Final at Lords. In those days the NatWest Final was the biggest domestic occasion. The lead up to the game was all about Graeme Hick coming in and being the great white hope of English cricket. I bowled well and got him out in my opening spell. We won the game and playing on that stage in front of the TV cameras and performing, showed me I could handle the occasion. The two county championship wins in 1990 and 1993 were brilliant but fast forward to today and where I am now (Managing Director of Middlesex), winning the county championship in 2016 surpasses those title wins in my playing days - as far as satisfaction goes. As a player you can be quite selfish – it’s about you and you don’t always see the bigger picture. In the position I’m in now, you see what a title means to a lot more people - to the board, to the members and to the supporters. Seeing young players come through and achieve their dreams and goals is something very difficult to put a price on.”

Gus’ performances for Middlesex saw early international recognition when he was selected in the squad for the second Test of the 1989 Ashes series at Lords. Gus wasn’t picked in the final eleven, but finally did get his chance, one Test later at Edgbaston.

“Without trying to sound arrogant, throughout my career I always felt I was ready to move up a level before I actually moved up. I always thought I was ready to play for Middlesex before I was selected, and it was the same with England. I took 80 odd wickets in the 1988 season and bowled well in that NatWest Final. I thought I was ready to tour in the winter with England. The tour to India got cancelled, but the following summer I felt I was ready, but I had to wait. I was picked in the squad for the 2nd Test at Lords. I was given my kit and then because I wasn’t picked in the final eleven, I had to give it all back. That was heart-breaking. Everything you strive for is to own that cap and jersey, so to be given it and then have to give it back wasn’t a nice feeling. In those days you weren’t allowed to keep any of your kit, until you played for England. I eventually made my debut in the next Test match at Edgbaston.”

England drew the Test and Gus made an immediate impact taking 4/63 from 33 overs. “I remember it was a very hot and humid day and I refused to take off my England sweater all day! I was so proud to wear it. My first over was a maiden to Mark Taylor but that first day was curtailed by thunderstorms. On the second day I got my first wicket, Steve Waugh, and went on to take 4/63.”

I asked Gus how important is to get early success when you make a debut?

“Very. It proves to yourself you can do it. You look at some players like your Hick’s and Ramprakash’s and they unfortunately had to wait a while to put in a performance which showed people that they were capable to deliver as that level. But the confidence you get from putting that performance in early is much stronger. So, for me to get 4/63 in that first innings was acknowledgment that I could perform at this level and that I wasn’t out of my depth. I was playing against good players and making them work hard.”

Gus ended up with 9 wickets from his 3 Tests in that series and was one of England’s bright light in what was a heavy Ashes series defeat.

“It ended up being a pretty miserable summer for English cricket. Everyone had England as favourites after Mike Gatting’s win down under in 86/87, but the side was heavily beaten. Added to the Ashes, there was the announcement of the Rebel tour to South Africa. I wouldn’t say it disillusioned me, but it definitely punctured the balloon. From getting picked to play for your country, the pride and the honour you take in that and then to see that halfway through a summer a number of players had, had enough and would rather go and earn a few extra quid in South Africa on a rebel tour than play for England brought a bit of reality to the situation.”

Towards the end of that 1989 Ashes series, David Gower stood down as England captain and was replaced by Graham Gooch in what many hoped would a new dawn for English cricket.

“In many ways despite the summer of 1989, it became an exciting little time and when I look back at the 1990s, I see it as a period where players did become more valued by the ECB. The decade started with players choosing to go on a Rebel tour to earn extra money but yet it finished with central contracts being introduced.”

Gooch’s first task as captain was to lead England on a tour to the Caribbean and a series against the formidable West Indies.

“We went to the West Indies with a young, exciting side. There was Alec Stewart, Nasser Hussain, Mike Atherton, Robin Smith was young at the time, Devon Malcolm, me, Philip Tufnell came through. There was a shift in direction that should have been a bright new dawn. We never really got that going for whatever reason. I guess those reasons could have been that domestic cricket in England didn’t lend itself to England performing brilliantly because of the volume of cricket you had to play. You could play a Test match one day and then the next day would be driving to the other side of the country to play for your county.”

England famously won the 1st Test in Jamaica, with Gus’ 5/28 from 20 overs in the 1st innings playing a huge part in bowling the West Indies out for just 164. A side that contained so many great West Indian batsmen.

England lost the series 2-1 but had restored pride after the heavy Ashes defeat and in Gus and Devon Malcolm, England had found an opening partnership that SHOULD have gone to become one of England’s best opening partnerships.

“Devon and I built up a really strong partnership on that tour. We complemented each other because he bowled bloody quick. When he got it right, he could be lethal. He made batsmen uncomfortable with his pace and I may be covered the fact that he might concede a few because I tended to be pretty tight. So, I felt I could feed off him and he could just concentrate on bowling fast.”

I asked Gus if he felt if central contracts were around for that group of players, how much a difference that would have made.

“A huge difference. I played 46 Tests and took 180 wickets, averaging around four wickets a Test. With central contracts I probably could have played another 40/50 Tests. I loved my time playing for Middlesex but if we had central contracts my best overs would have been kept for England. But not just bowlers, the batsmen as well. Someone like Mark Ramprakash could have been a different player with a central contract and the confidence and re-assurance it would have given him.”

The summer of 1990 saw England beat India at home. People always remember Graham Gooch’s famous 333 at Lords, but Gus’ 8 wickets in the match went a long way towards the side winning by such a big margin. A winter tour to Australia followed and after Gus’ 6/82 in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne, many believed England had unearthed a truly world class opening bowler, someone who would go on and have a long career for his country.

“Everything was going well for me. I loved how well it was all going with England. I loved how well I was playing. Middlesex was going really well and then I had the hip injury.”

It was an injury that was career-threatening.

“When you get an injury like that, you realise how fortunate you are. I had no idea what I would have done if I didn’t recover. I questioned whether I would ever play competitive cricket again.”

The injury kept Gus out of the England side for nearly 3 years. He returned to the side for the final Test of the Ashes at the Oval in 1993 and he carried on where he left off with 8 wickets in the match (a 5-wicket haul in the 1st innings) in what was a man of the match display, as England went on to secure a consolation victory over the Australians.

“Any wicket gives you satisfaction but that first wicket getting Mark Waugh caught behind, was as happy a wicket as I have ever taken.”

The winter of 1993/94 saw England return to the West Indies, this time under the captaincy of Mike Atherton and once again Gus didn’t disappoint with 16 wickets in 4 Tests. This was the series that was famous for the 46 all-out in Trinidad and the win in Barbados where the West Indies had not lost for decades. Let’s start with the 46 all out!

“It was a game we should have won. We dropped a couple of catches and we went from a position of needing around a hundred to win to having to chase nearer 200. The pitch wasn’t easy my abiding memory of that Test was my failure to get a roti! In those days the food in the dressing room was ok but in Trinidad I loved the roti’s! Now, while you’re bowling you don’t want to eat one because you don’t digest it and it’s like bowling with a stone in your bloody gut so I waited all day and decided that once we had bowled them out I’ll make my way over to the roti tent, which was at the other end of the ground to the dressing rooms. Despite losing 2 wickets in the first over I still decided to make my way round to the roti tent. But honestly, by the time I got halfway round I had to turn back to get my pads on - it buggered up my food for the day! Missed roti’s aside, when people talk about that 46 all out, people forget we were playing against some bloody good cricketers. Ambrose is one of the all-time greats and he just bowled brilliantly and exposed any vulnerabilities we had. He was magnificent and we weren’t up to it. Sometimes you just have to accept that. Cricket is a funny game. In some games you’ll see the ball beat the bat 35 times and there will be no edges; on other occasions everything gets exposed. There are days when sides could easily be 20/5 without actually having done a lot wrong. Embarrassingly for us in Trinidad, the game went into the following day with us 8 wickets down. But it must be remembered that I never got out!”

And then there was Barbados...

“People were talking about a 5-0 drubbing. All of a sudden, all the families had arrived, all the British tourists had arrived. People were calling us a disgrace. I remember the applause from the England supporters when Mike Atherton punched the ball through mid-on to take us past 46! Alec Stewart played brilliantly with two hundreds, it was a famous win.”

And not forgetting of course, Gus’ own 8/75 in the first innings as England restricted the West Indies to 304 in reply to England’s 355.

Gus’ comeback was going from strength to strength, but less than 12 month’s later, he was incredibly left out of the 1994 Ashes squad entirely. New ‘supremo’ Ray Illingworth thought Gus didn’t have the pace needed to unsettle Australia’s batsmen. He instead preferred the raw pace of Kent seamer Martin McCague. It was kick in the teeth for Gus, whose previous tour down under showed just how effective he was in those conditions.

“Obviously my relationship with Ray Illingworth wasn’t a particularly positive one. Why I don’t know. He had his view of what a fast bowler should be, and I didn’t fit that image. I played five tests in the summer, then was dropped for the last Test at the Oval when Devon got his 9 wickets. Joey Benjamin came in and Ray felt he wanted to fight fire with fire in Australia and I wasn’t part of his plan. The disappointing thing for me was I found out I wasn’t in the squad from watching Sky. So, I positioned myself in Australia and played grade cricket, as I was put on stand-by, in case there were any injuries and illnesses.”

As fate would have it, there were injuries and Gus was called into the squad prior to the 1st Test in Brisbane.

Gus didn’t play, but he was recalled for the Test match at Sydney and he proved a point to Illingworth in the best possible way, by taking wickets. As England battled for victory, Gus bowled an outstanding spell of 5/73. It wasn’t quite enough to get England over the line, but it was the perfect response.

Gus continued this form the following summer against the West Indies. His 5/66 at Lords (which helped England to victory) and his 4/45 at Old Trafford (in a 6-wicket win), were just two of his important contributions.

However, the Illingworth curse struck again in South Africa, when despite taking 3 wickets in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test (remember Atherton and Jack Russell!), Gus was again left out of the side, this time for two years. Some would say, a harsh way to treat a bowler who had regularly proved his value.

It wasn’t the for Gus in an England shirt. With Illingworth gone, Gus was recalled, unsurprisingly, for the 1998 tour of the West Indies in what was to become a memorable year for the seamer.

“When the squad was initially picked, I wasn’t sure I was going to be in the starting eleven but then Darren Gough withdrew through injury and I was given my chance. 1997 had been my benefit year and I’d had a good year at Middlesex. I’d got really fit so I was confident going into that series and the series was a good one. The first Test in Jamaica was abandoned, then we played back to backs in Trinidad with two low scoring, nervy games where we won one and lost one. We lost in Guyana, were winning in Barbados until it rained which would have made it 2-2, then lost in Antigua.”

And for Gus it was an outstanding tour with the ball, taking 27 wickets in the series, including 11 in the win in Trinidad.

The series finished on a low point however, as Gus’ big mate Mike Atherton stood down as captain. “Athers was a big mate of mine and we knew what the captaincy meant to him. To see him give that up was very sad. It was an emotional moment in the dressing room when he addressed us and told us the news. There were a lot of tears.”

Alec Stewart was appointed captain and the home summer of 1998 saw England beat South Africa, our first win in a 5 Test series for many, many years. “We got stuffed at Lords and then we went to Old Trafford where Robert Croft and I managed to survive some hostile overs from Donald to see us secure a draw. We then went to Trent Bridge where I thought I might get dropped as I’d only taken 1 for a hundred in the previous game, despite my batting efforts. I didn’t and I got 10 wickets in the match, which we won.”

When Gus talks of some of these spells, I can imagine how frustrating it must have been knowing that a lot of his big performances for England would often get overshadowed by notable performances of others. For example, in this Test at Trent Bridge people remember it for Donald/Atherton rather than Gus’ 10 wickets. People remember Lords in 1990 against India for Graham Gooch’s 333 rather than Gus’ 8 wickets or the win in Barbados in 1994 for Alec Stewart’s two hundreds rather than Gus’ 8 wicket spell. But I guess, that’s professional sport.

Following the win at Trent Bridge, England moved on to Headingley and a famous win to clinch the series. “It was to become the only five Test series I was to win during my career, and I remember in the one day series that followed against Sri Lanka (Ed: England played a one-off Test and an ODI series against Sri Lanka straight after that South Africa win), I was 12th man and took a drink around to Goughy. As I walked around the boundary, I got a standing ovation. The series win meant a lot, to a lot of people.”

It was fair to say Gus was back and he headed down under to Australia that winter full of confidence. What he didn’t realise was it would be the final time he’d pull on an England jersey.

“That was a tough tour for me. I’d gone there having taken 50+ wickets in my last two series. I played in the first Test. I wouldn’t say I bowled well in the practice games but came on 3rd change on the 1st morning in Brisbane and then was left out the second Test. I remember Alec Stewart, who was captain, coming to my room to tell me I was left out for Adelaide and us having a rather emotional conversation. Having bowled as well as I had done for those last two series, and then after one Test where I didn’t bowl badly, it was pretty much the end of Test career. I did come back for one further Test match when Alex Tudor pulled out on the morning of the Test match in Melbourne ill but that was that. If I’m honest, they I don’t think they were far wrong. The things about tours to Australia is if you’re young, fit and performing you’ll thrive, but if there’s any weaknesses or shortcomings in your game they’ll get exposed. The fact I did struggle in Australia showed I was nearing the end. Maybe I could have played the following summer against New Zealand, but an Ashes defeat, then the World Cup shambles, a new coach, a new captain, it was a new start and on the back of that I was a casualty really.”

I asked Gus, how difficult that was to accept. “One of the characteristics of being a top sportsman is to never give up and to always believe you’re good enough. For a period of time after being left out I possibly did feel I could do a better job than some of those being picked. But, my last involvement with England came in the summer of 1999 when I received a phone call on a Wednesday evening before the Lords Test which was starting on the Thursday. I was told that there was an injury and a fitness test, and could I get back to Lords as cover. Middlesex were playing in Taunton and the day’s play had finished; I’d had a couple of pints so I couldn’t exactly drive back to London that evening. I got up early the following morning and headed to the ground in Taunton to pick up my kit then got on the M4 and drove all the way back to London. I got to the Hogarth roundabout when I received a phone call from David Graveney telling me ‘its ok the player is fit’ so I just drove straight around the roundabout and back to Taunton and that was my last involvement with England – I also got 0/100 that day in Taunton, so it wasn’t the best day!”

In 2000, with his England career behind him, Gus took over the captaincy at Middlesex.

“Middlesex weren’t in great shape at the time, with coaches coming and going. Mark Ramprakash who was captain, decided to leave so it was a situation where I either left the club or got more involved. I chose to get more involved and took on the captaincy. I was captain for a couple of years and combined that with a bit of media work. Then in 2001/02 there was quite bit of movement in the media and a position at the Independent became available. Paul Newman who was sports editor phoned me up, asked me to lunch and offered me the job. It was difficult to turn down. I spoke to a few people at Middlesex who I had great respect for and they both said I had to do it. Middlesex would move on and these opportunities don’t come along that often. So, I took it and announced my retirement. I played the first few weeks of the season to ease the transition, but my best parting gift to Middlesex was Andrew Strauss becoming captain, which helped launch his captaincy career.”

And how was the world of the media?

“It was very tough to begin with. But I really enjoyed it. Every day you have fears. Every morning you wake up worried that someone else will have a story that you don’t have. But travelling around the world watching cricket was great. Sometimes your relationships with certain cricketers could become strained if you write something they don’t necessarily like. But my view was always I was never going to be critical for the sake of being critical. If I was critical it was because it was backed up by fact or from my own experiences. Maybe a couple of times when you have a deadline and you have a couple of minutes to write 300 more words down you might as a result overstep and get it wrong, but if I ever did, I apologised.”

Sadly Gus’ media work came to an end after his son was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which thankfully he has now fully recovered from. “He’s all healthy now, but at the time he was 13, and you start thinking about things. It’s a lovely existence as a journalist, if you’re single. You’re away for 30 weeks of the year, you’re in top hotels, visiting great countries etc, but it’s not much comfort if you’re not single, for your family with you being away so much and I took the view that my children were now in their teenage years and I wanted to be part of that.”

Gus started to explore other opportunities, when fate would have it, a role as Director of Cricket at Middlesex came up. “Middlesex weren’t in great shape when I came back, and the immediate goal was to try and get the club moving back in the right direction again. We had to make some difficult decisions to move some senior players on and give some youngsters a chance, the likes of Sam Robson, John Simpson, Dawid Malan, Steven Finn, Toby Roland-Jones etc. We made some signings, some good, some not so good, but everything culminated in the 2016 title win.”

Gus combined his role at Middlesex with being on England’s selection committee. A role he proudly held from 2014 until 2018.

“Being a selector was a huge source of pride. It was a great honour and a big responsibility. You are performing a role that is significant in that it’s for the performance of the national side. You’re also a dream maker and a dream breaker. Giving people their England debuts is a source of great joy but at the same time you can also be ending careers. It was challenging at times and you’d cop a lot of flak. When I started, it coincided with Kevin Pietersen not being picked, which was a pretty uncomfortable period. But you have to back and believe in the decisions you are making. For example, after the 2015 World Cup people were questioning Eoin Morgan and his place and his role as captain. We backed him, supported him, believed in him and seeing the one day move forward as it has is extremely satisfying.”

And what about the Test side? “The Test side had some really good periods and but also some disappointing ones. When I look back, I’d say we probably weren’t able to complete two or three things we were hoping to do. We weren’t able to solve the problem at the top of the order where we still have issues, and we didn’t find replacements for Broad and Anderson. It’s brilliant they are still playing but they’re not going to last forever. The final area is spinners, although they seem to be coming through a bit better now. So, overall with the Test side I’d say we’ve made some progress in my time as a selector, but it’d be wrong to say we made huge progress. However, in white ball cricket it was extremely positive.”

I asked Gus if he could give supporters an insight into a typical selection meeting, maybe one for a tour squad.

“If we take the 2017 Ashes tour. There were four selectors and Joe Root. We all had to begin by writing our squads out and explain why we’d selected the players we had. All the squads were then put on the wall. The players that were in all five squads were then obvious choices and we then discussed the others. In the majority of selection meeting’s, you’re really only talking about one or two players and what the options might be. Sometimes the options are out there and sometimes they aren’t. But sitting there trying to plan a way forward for the England cricket team was great fun.”

In 2018, the ECB re-structured their selection panel and Gus decided not to apply for any of the new roles on offer. “I miss it. But I understood the ECB’s stance. They didn’t want selectors to be involved with counties anymore. They deemed it to be a conflict of interest. I chose not to apply because I wanted to carry on at Middlesex. I just prefer being on the development side rather than the cherry on the top which is picking the England team.”

Back at Middlesex, the team were relegated a year after that title win, and last season they found themselves in division 2, so what are the aims with Middlesex this summer? “After the disappointment of the last couple of years, we knew changes had to be made and with Stuart Law we’re confident we can get everything back on track again. We’ve some good youngsters coming through.”

We closed our conversation with Gus naming the best player he played with and against. “Brian Lara is the greatest player I had played against. He was absolute genius. I did hate bowling to Michael Slater though. He used to go after you from the very first over. Very aggressive and not much fun to bowl to. But Lara was the greatest. To see him at his best was a joy. Even though you were having to bowl at him, when you were fielding, you had the best seat in the house.”

And played with? “Graham Gooch. He was the best English player I played with. A fantastic man and a great cricketer. The Middlesex team I walked into showed me how to be professional cricketer, but Graham Gooch showed me how to be an international cricketer.”

And what a cricketer that was. Thanks for the memories Gus!

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