August 20, 2011

Michael Vaughan goes undercover

Akhila Ranganna

In 2006, Goldsborough 2nd XI suffered the worst defeat in modern English recreational cricket. Ten of their players got out for ducks and their last batsman was also stranded on zero against Dishforth in the Nidderdale Amateur league. This year they got a rematch, and their revenge, with a little help from scruffy, beer-bellied and long-haired Gary Watson, from Leeds ... aka Michael Vaughan. For a campaign aimed at supporting grassroots cricket, Vaughan played his first match since his retirement in 2009, wearing a prosthetic mask, wig, and a pillow stuffed down his shirt to hide his identity.

“I had to have this blue seaweed goo all over my face to make the cast, which made it difficult to breathe, let alone talk,” Vaughan told the Daily Mail. "The pillow stuffed down my shirt to give me a beer belly made it hard to run. I was worried I might get run out.”

Chasing 105 in the 16-over match, Goldsborough won by three wickets. Vaughan’s contribution? A five-hour makeover off the field, and 28 runs and a catch on it.

“Our lads were in total shock when they found out who they had been playing with,” Dishforth captain Steve Wilson said. “We thought, ‘this bloke can play’ but had no idea he was a legend.”

Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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