England news June 19, 2017

Dermot Reeve sells Wisden to raise money

Dermot Reeve, a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1996, has placed his leather-bound Almanack up for sale in a desperate attempt to raise some money.
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Dermot Reeve's leather-bound Wisden © Dermot Reeve

Dermot Reeve, a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1996, has placed his leather-bound Almanack up for sale in a desperate attempt to raise some money.

Reeve, once a millionaire with lucrative opportunities in coaching and the media, is currently staying with his brother in the UK as he seeks work.

He was awarded the 1996 Wisden, with his name printed on the front cover in golden gilt, as one of the Almanack's traditional Five Cricketers after a 1995 season in which his Warwickshire side won the double to complete a 24-month period in which they claimed six trophies. It is signed on the title page by both Reeve and the Wisden editor at the time, Matthew Engel. It is believed to be the first time that such an item has come up for sale from a living player.

"I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm being disrespectful to Wisden," Reeve told ESPNcricinfo. "The award was very special to me and my family and I have cherished it.

"But I live in Perth and my kids are in Sydney. Being apart from them is the most painful thing I have experienced and if this pays for a couple of flights so I can see them more often, it will be worth it."

Reeve played three Tests and 29 ODIs for England, including the 1992 World Cup final, as a seam-bowling allrounder. He then had several years as head coach at Somerset, was briefly appointed to the same role at Yorkshire - the club changed their mind before he started - before moving more towards the media.

The seeds of his downfall were a drug problem that ruined his marriage and career. Having left Channel 4 in 2004 after admitting taking cocaine while working, he surrendered his home and the bulk of his savings in a divorce settlement. While he was, at that stage, hopeful he could recoup his losses through a return to coaching, he has not found the opportunities he anticipated. He now claims to be drug-free.

"I still think I've a lot to offer in terms of coaching," he said. "I coached my Grade side in Perth to a title and I'll be back there in a couple of months to prepare for the new season. I'd love an opportunity to show what I can do at a county."

Reeve's predicament may shock some in the cricket world. While it is far from unheard of for former cricketers to struggle once their playing careers have ended, Reeve appeared to have the skills and intelligence to enjoy a successful post-playing career. At one stage he owned several properties and was seen as one of the most original thinkers in the game. As recently as 2015, he was invited to attend training and share his thoughts with England's limited-overs side.

At the time of writing, Reeve's Wisden - numbered 5 in a limited-edition of 150 leather-bound copies - has attracted a bid of £2100. The on-line auction is open until 9pm on June 30.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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  • AdrianCanada on June 25, 2017, 16:14 GMT

    Why isn't he on a pension from the ECB? Perhaps if Giles Clarke had not wasted so much money on his wasteful travel there would be to share.

  • dynamco on June 24, 2017, 3:21 GMT

    what is the link for the auction ? is it on ebay or elsewhere ?

  • EdwinD on June 21, 2017, 15:24 GMT

    If I recall, Reeve was also renowned for his mimicking of other players....!

  • sudip59 on June 20, 2017, 20:21 GMT

    Reeve was part of England's World Cup final squad who lost to Pakistan in that famous final in early 1992. It's really sad to read this as dermot was a 100% committed cricketer of the highest order . Irrespective of the causes of his emotional and financial downfall , he never caused harm to anyone except his own self . Credit to his brother for looking over him. I wish dermot well for the rest of his life

  • EdwinD on June 20, 2017, 13:27 GMT

    It's sad to read of these players who were stars in another era who have now fallen on hard times - along with D Reeve the list includes Robin Smith, Chris Lewis, Adam Hollioake, Alan Mullally, etc.

    What he achieved as Warwickshire captain, with a lot of help with a certain B Lara and Bob Woolmer in 1994 I doubt will ever be repeated.

  • AshesErnie on June 19, 2017, 18:42 GMT

    Very sad indeed, but I see this as a cry for help from a contrite man. Hope some wealthy altruist outbids all others and gives the Wisden back to Reeve on condition that he doesn't try to sell it again. Best of luck to Dermot.

  • cricfan30019954 on June 19, 2017, 18:05 GMT

    Very sad to hear about his drugs problem which hopefully is behind him now .very innovative thinker and im sure an english county team will be tempted to give him a job if he is clean now like he says he is

  • DrJez on June 19, 2017, 17:54 GMT

    @cricfan9690084383. No, his award was for domestic, not international, success. He captained a team that won 3 of the 4 big county competitions in one year (and lost the final of the 4th), and 6 titles in total in two years. His innovative captaincy was thought to have been a principal reason for that level of success. No team has matched that record before or since.

  • masterstumper on June 19, 2017, 17:50 GMT

    CRICFAN9690084383 - Get a grasp of what he did during his time. He didn't get an award because he played a handful of international games, he was a brilliant thinker on the field at a time when all England had as captain at the time was a cardboard cut-out called Atherton. He was miles ahead of his time and was a big reason for all the success Warwickshire had from when he took over in 1993 until he was forced to retire from injury in 1996.

  • cricfan9690084383 on June 19, 2017, 15:48 GMT

    He just played few matches and was honored with the highest award in cricketing world? You must be kidding me

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