Full name Alastair James Hignell
Born September 4, 1955, Cambridge
Current age 62 years 101 days
Major teams Cambridge University, Gloucestershire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
Height 5 ft 7 in
Education Denstone College; Cambridge University
|First-class span||1974 - 1983|
|List A span||1974 - 1983|
Alastair Hignell was a throwback to an earlier era when multi-talented sportsmen could excel in more than one field. He won Blues at Cambridge at both rugby and cricket - four years running in both - and by the time he left university in 1977 he had already made several England appearances at full back. He made his England debut in 1975 in a brutal encounter with Australia at Brisbane - eight days later he was playing for Gloucestershire against Middlesex at Bristol and five weeks later he made 60 in the Varsity match.
After leaving university, he continued playing rugby for Bristol and England in the winter, while also working as a teacher, and cricket for Gloucestershire in the summer. As a right-hand batsman he scored solidly rather than spectacularly, passing 1000 runs in a season three times, including 1983 when he retired at the end of the season. He won the last of his 14 England rugby caps in 1978-79.
Hignell continued to teach until he moved into journalism full time and he became a respected reporter, as well as working extensively on the radio for the BBC. In 2000 he was diagnosed with MS and has since been an active fundraiser. In 2008 he retired from commentating and at the year end won the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.
He won 14 caps for England at rugby between 1975 and 1978-79, scoring 48 points