October 2004 - County Review - Lancashire September 20, 2004

Hegg out of luck

Warren Hegg started the summer as the bookmakers' favourite to lift the Championship and end Lancashire's 70-year wait for an outright win
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Warren Hegg: hampered by injury throughout the season as Lancashire's poor form resulted in their relegation to Division Two © Getty Images

Warren Hegg started the summer as the bookmakers' favourite to lift the Championship and end Lancashire's 70-year wait for an outright win. But he spent most of it hobbling on one leg, after two hamstring injuries wrecked his season and left him an anguished spectator while the Red Rose wilted.

The first setback came in the Twenty20 match at Headingley and then, desperate to make a contribution on the finals day at Edgbaston, he pulled it again attempting a second run.

"It was unlucky for Warren and unlucky for us because he is a fighter," said cricket manager Mike Watkinson. "Having said that, all the team have admitted we should have done better. But the margins are very fine. We had all day to bowl out Gloucestershire at Cheltenham but could only get seven down, and 10 points more for us and four fewer for them would have made a difference. I'm not making excuses but no county could have done any better with the injury list we have had. For long periods it was just Corky and the kids."

Injuries and lack of form hindered the backup bowlers, Sajid Mahmood and Kyle Hogg, while the loss of Hegg's gritty determination with the bat left a big hole in the lower order.

"Things couldn't have been much worse", said Watkinson, "but, look on the bright side, they can only get better once everyone is fit".

This article was first published in the October issue of The Wisden Cricketer.
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