2003 Season review

Highlights ... and lowlights ...

Freddie Auld

September 22, 2003

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SEASON WINNERS



Chris Adams with the Championship trophy

Frizzell County Championship Div One
Champions Sussex The final match
Runners-up Lancashire

County Championship Division Two
Winners Worcestershire
Promoted Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire

National League Div One
Winners Surrey
Runners-up Gloucestershire

National League Division Two
Winners Lancashire
Promoted Northamptonshire, Hampshire

Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy
Winners Gloucestershire Final
Runners-up Worcestershire

Twenty20 Cup
Winners Surrey Final
Runners-up Warwickshire



Surrey with the Twenty20 Cup

THE LOSERS
Frizzell County Championship Division One
Relegated Essex, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire

County Championship Division Two
Wooden Spoon Derbyshire

National League Division One
Relegated Leicestershire, Yorkshire, Worcestershire

National League Division Two
Wooden Spoon Scotland

FIVE VINTAGE IMPORTS
Mushtaq Ahmed 103 wickets and a million skips and jumps - and thousands of smiles after he helped take the Championship to Hove for the first time
Mike Kasprowicz 77 wickets at just over 21 apiece for Glamorgan's adopted Aussie
Stuart Law Another prosperous season for another Aussie, who trotted up 1820 runs with an average of 66.71
Carl Hooper Law's partner in crime with 1219 runs, not bad considering he was initially a short-term replacement for Harbhajan Singh
Muttiah Muralitharan Brought in to keep Kent up - and he did just that with 33 wickets from five games



Mushtaq Ahmed takes his 100th wicket of the season

FIVE FOREIGN FIZZERS
Yuvraj Singh Only 145 runs for Yorkshire's low-key high-profile import
Virender Sehwag Took a while to find his feet for Leicestershire then went home early with an injury
Ashley Thorpe For once an Aussie did badly. Thorpe averaged 16 after a handful of games and was then released by Durham at the end of the season
Warwickshire's overseas players Shane Bond, Michael Clark, Collins Obuya, Waqar Younis, Corey Collmore. Bond didn't make it while all the others kept the team physio busy
Chaminda Vaas A late signing from Hampshire to replace Wasim Akram, but didn't live up to Wasim's left-arm legacy

FIVE FAREWELLS
Alec Stewart A last goodbye from The Gaffer
Robin Smith Injuries forced the Judge to call time
Devon Malcolm A damp end for England's one-time thunderbolt
Ed Giddins The road came to a sudden end for the ultimate journeyman
Phil Tufnell King of the Jungle and all that for The Cat

FIVE HELLOS
Ed Smith Five successive centuries and a 64 on debut for England
Geraint Jones Kent and England's new find behind the stumps - via Papua New Guinea
Matt Prior Another wicketkeeper putting the pressure on Chris Read. Went past the 1000-run mark and was a key man in Sussex's success
Rikki Clarke 551 runs and 17 wickets - enough to get him in both the England squads this winter
Brad Hodge The relatively unknown Aussie blazed his way round the county circuit with 1495 runs for Leicestershire, including 302 not out against Notts

FIVE HELLOS AND GOODBYES
Jim Troughton 36 runs from five ODI innings wasn't enough to earn him a place on tour
Martin Bicknell A two-Test comeback ten years after his two-Test start, but not wanted on the winter voyage
Kabir Ali A steady debut at Headingley, but will we see him again for England?
Glen Chapple The most bizarre selection by England all summer. Called up for the squad for Trent Bridge, didn't play and wasn't asked back
Rob Key Failed to take another chance in the NatWest Series



Alec Stewart in his final innings for England

FIVE CHAMPAGNE MOMENTS
Andrew Flintoff lacing South Africa to all parts of The Oval
The Sussex squad running on to the pitch mid-session at Hove to celebrate clinching the Championship
Dominic Cork's anticipatory press conference claiming all was well at Derbyshire - a week later he was sacked
A cagey Mark Butcher interviewing Atomic Kitten at the Twenty20 Cup final
Ashley Giles's mugs made for his benefit year arriving with the "King of Spain" on them, rather than the "King of Spin"

FIVE NOT-SO-FUNNY ONES
Worcestershire declaring eight wickets down to deny Northants bowling point they needed to stay in the hunt for the Division Two title
An exhausted Nasser Hussain resigning from the England captaincy
Half the Somerset squad being threatened with the sack after their poor start to the season
Peter West, the television and radio presenter, passing away
David Fulton suffering impaired vision in his right eye after being hit there by a ball from a bowling machine

FIVE BEST CATCHES
Andrew Flintoff's blinder at gully to get rid of Jacques Kallis in the NatWest Series at Edgbaston
Paul Adams's turn and run from short leg at Lord's to remove Marcus Trescothick in South Africa's crushing win
Herschelle Gibbs's one-handed grab at the second attempt at slip off Marcus Trescothick at Headingley
Michael Vaughan, not always the safest pair of hands, pouching a fierce Jaques Kallis drive above his head at Headingley
Dominic Cork's diving effort at midwicket in Derbyshire's C&G semi against Gloucestershire

FIVE DOLLY DROPS
An absent-minded Nasser Hussain fumbling Graeme Smith in the covers at Lord's when he had 8. Smith made him pay with 259.
Mark Butcher dropping Neil McKenzie during their make-or-break morning at Headingley
Ben Phillips putting down Owais Shah to help Middlesex evade a 10th successive one-day defeat against Northants
Butcher fumbling Gary Kirsten at Headingley. Kirsten scored 108
Andrew Hall spilling Marcus Trescothick at slip on the final day of the series at The Oval

FIVE MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENTS
Michael Vaughan's miscount of first-class counties in his new radical blueprint
Jacques Rudolph's fatal leave-alone to Martin Bicknell at The Oval
Marcus Trescothick and Mark Butcher coming off for bad light at Headingley
John Wood forgetting to run in the final over of Lancashire's C & G semi-final against Worcestershire
Ronnie Irani being told he can't bowl - by a specialist, not by spectators

THE LOOK SAYS IT ALL
Nasser Hussain's minute-long stare at the ground after holing out to part-time legspinner Jacques Rudolph at Headingley
Makyaha Ntini kissing the turf at Lord's after becoming the first South African to take ten wickets there
Graham Thorpe smiling again after his comeback hundred at The Oval
Alec Stewart holding back the emotion after what turned out to be his last innings, at The Oval
Andrew Hall's brave smile after he was stranded on 99 not out at Headingley



Jimmy Anderson unveils his red streak

FIVE MOST EYE-CATCHING HAIRSTYLES
Jimmy Anderson's red-streaked mohican
Dominic Cork's David Beckham effort, complete with Alice band
Ashley Giles's highlights
Chad Keegan - see Dominic Cork
Barry Richards's blow-dry grey bouffant

TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED
Surrey letting the Championship slip from them when they seemed to have it signed and sealed
Kevin Innes becoming the first 12th man to score a hundred. As a temporary replacement for James Kirtley in Sussex's Championship match against Notts, Innes scored 103 not out before returning to drinks duty
Jimmy Anderson's transformation from wonder kid to blunder kid
Graeme Smith and his Bradmanesque start to the Test series
The weather

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