Full name Robert John Cunliffe
Born November 8, 1973, Oxford
Current age 41 years 265 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
Papua New Guinea's attractive team kit at the World T20 Qualifier, cool cap included, caught our attention. What's your favourite of them all?
On Sunday, Tillakaratne Dilshan became the 11th batsman to score 10,000-plus ODI runs. Here are the key numbers from his ODI career
Former Australia fast bowler Damien Fleming on bowling in thrilling World Cup semi-finals, mastering the subcontinent, and taking on Tendulkar
The failure of anyone other than Chris Rogers to cope with the conditions at Edgbaston was another worrying sign of Australian fallibility abroad
Quite a few of England's players over the years have been born outside England. Do you know where?
Since the beginning of 2012, Ian Bell averages 34.69 when batting in the top six; among regular top-order batsmen, only Shane Watson has a lower average
Death of a Gentleman exposes how neo-liberal economics threatens the game, while also hinting at worse lying beneath the surface, leaving you feeling disillusioned and angry
Should he be dropped from the one-day squad to Zimbabwe, it will be the latest chapter in the wicketkeeper's strained relations with the authorities in particular
There's currency in the idea that a captain's failure with the bat dulls his decision-making powers and creates a destructive atmosphere in the dressing room
The mauling at Lord's means once again England are being reactive in terms of who bats at one-drop. It also means they are likely to shed their new-found aggression