Barnett bangs his way into the record books
Kim Barnett, the former England batsman, started life after county cricket with a bang - or nine - as he blazed his way into the record books. Playing for Checkley against Leek in the North Staffordshire/South Cheshire League, Barnett smashed nine consecutive sixes on the opening day of the league season.
Barnett, 43, hammered the offspinner Dave Cartledge over the ropes six successive times, and then broke the record off the bowling of his old Derbyshire mucker, Tim Tweats, hitting three more sixes to make it nine in a row.
It may have been a league record, but in the annals of the game, there are in fact two records of two players striking 11 consecutive maximums. The first is G Ivanoff for Pymble v Berowra in Australia in 1965-66, and the other is R Kelly - not the chart-topping pop singer - for Buckland St Mary versus Taunton Casuals in 1993.
Even though the boundaries were no shorter than the minimum 50 yards required for county games, Barnett found the small Leek ground to his liking. "The outfield was a bit boggy so it wasn't easy to score runs along the ground so the short boundary was inviting," he told the Daily Telegraph. "Throughout my county career I was known mainly as an off-side player, but all my sixes came on the legside. At the end of the over my partner Gavin Carr came up and asked whether I had done anything like that before. I just laughed because you don't hit the bowlers I faced in my first-class career for six sixes in an over."
Barnett also added that it could, and should, have been more than just the nine sixes. "Gavin played out a maiden and Leek brought on Tim [Tweats] who was on a hiding to nothing. The first three balls disappeared for six, the fourth was the worst delivery of the lot, but I only managed to clog it for a first-bounce four." Some people are just never satisfied ...