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May 13, 2001
Darren Gough has revealed that he once took to the field in a Test Match suffering from a severe hangover.
Photo © CricInfo
In extracts from his autobiography published in today's News of The World, Gough admitted that on the evening before the final day of the Test series against South Africa in January 2000 he stayed up until the early hours of the morning drinking with golfer Ian Woosnam in a hotel bar.
"I have never walked on to a cricket field in such a disgraceful, self-induced state of disrepair as I was that last morning in Pretoria," admitted Gough.
"I had already thrown up in the dressing room and I felt so bad I wasn't sure whether I had a hangover or was still drunk."
With three consecutive days washed out by rain Gough presumed that there was little chance of any meaningful cricket on the final day. However, with both sides forfeiting an innings the final day suddenly assumed great importance. South Africa added almost 100 runs to their first day score before setting England a target of 249 from 76 overs
Gough received little sympathy from an unimpressed Nasser Hussain when England took the field that morning.
"Nasser wanted to teach me a lesson," explained Gough, who was required to bowl a 10 over spell as the South African innings came to an end, finishing with 2-92 from 20 overs. But Gough knew that it would be unwise to ask for any leniency from his skipper.
"I didn't say a word. The merest of moans and he would have been down on me like a ton of bricks," Gough said.
Although he later hit the winning runs as England won by two wickets, Gough insisted that he had learnt his lesson and it would not be an experience that he would be repeating.
"I am still ashamed of the way I let myself down on the final day of England's Centurion Park Test triumph over South Africa. I hit the winning runs, but it's an experience I never want to go through again. I'd been totally unprofessional."
Responding to the news, Tim Lamb - ECB chief executive, played down the significance of the incident.
"We are talking about an episode which took place a long time ago," he said.
"The responsibility for discipline within the England team lies with coach Duncan Fletcher and if he did not know about the incident at the time he does now.
"I have every confidence that Duncan will remind the players of the importance of being in the best possible condition to play for England."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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