|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Games||Mobile|
Full name Robert John Cunliffe
Born November 8, 1973, Oxford
Current age 40 years 42 days
Major teams Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
|Last First-class||Leicestershire v Middlesex at Leicester, May 21-24, 2003 scorecard|
|List A debut||1993|
|Last List A||Leicestershire v Yorkshire at Leicester, May 18, 2003 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|0||Wiltshire||v Bucks||Trowbridge||14 May 2006||Other|
|22, 1/19||Wiltshire||v Herts||Radlett||7 May 2006||Other|
|16||Wiltshire||v Oxfordshire||Westbury||30 Apr 2006||Other|
Rob Cunliffe was one of several players to leave Gloucestershire in 2001. He asked to be released one year from the end of his contract due to the lack of first team cricket he was playing. An enormously talented right-handed batsman and sharp fielder, as a teenager Cunliffe appeared destined for an England career. Unfortunately he has never fulfilled this potential, with bad luck and selection inconsistencies no doubt playing a part.
Technically correct, with the ability to bed down or attack with a flourish, one senses Cunliffe was never sure of his place in the team, or in the batting order when he did make the side. There can be few players in county cricket with his eye for a sharp single, and the ability to steal runs from the fielding side.
Despite this, a lack of consistency frustrated fans and detractors alike, and 2001 was always destined to be a crunch summer. The 28-year-old played only five Championship matches last summer, with a average just scraping above 20. There was no reason other than loyalty for Gloucestershire to stick with him, particularly with a number of teenagers pressing for batting spots late in the season.
Cunliffe's greatest problem was inconsistency. To see his knock in the 1999 Super Cup Final, where he made 61 in an electric 157-run partnership with Mark Alleyne, was to realise his enormous talent. Put bluntly however, statistics dominate this game, and his numbers simply have not made the grade. With Chris Taylor and Jeremy Snape scoring runs more consistently, and the signing of Craig Spearman, a continued contract at Gloucester would have likely meant an extended run in the second team.
As with all of the players released by the club at the end of the 2001 season, Cunliffe now has the chance to make a fresh start. Maybe he will find his touch again, and in the coming years return to the County Ground and thrash the bowlers round the park. He is more than capable of doing so. (Sean Beynon, Copyright CricInfo January 2002)
NBC Denis Compton Award 1996
The South Africa captain has had his troubles against Zaheer - and other left-arm quicks - and his attempts to sort them out will be tested in the India series
Ray Jennings, the former South Africa coach and the current coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore, believes his ward, Virat Kohli, faces a difficult test in South Africa
ESPNcricinfo looks at five reasons for Australia's dominance in winning back the Ashes
In difficult conditions against one of the world's best attacks, Virat Kohli remained unfazed, played his own game, and showed India could compete
It is impossible to say how this series would have panned out had Mickey Arthur still been in charge, but Darren Lehmann's approach has paid off handsomely
The new breed of Indian batsmen need to carry the flame that Sunny, Sachin and Rahul kept burning for so long
ESPNcricinfo looks at five reasons for England's failure to compete in Australia