September 2005 - Hampshire

Haul of fame

The Wisden Cricketer's review of this month's goings on at Hampshire

The ten-man list is topped by Derek Shackleton - "shrewdly varied and utterly accurate," said John Arlott, "beating down as unremittingly as February rain". In mid-table it features Malcolm Marshall. And now, sneaking in at the bottom is Shaun Udal, who reached 1,000 wickets in first-class and List-A cricket for Hampshire during their Championship defeat by Middlesex.

Udal has the highest average of any of the 10, his offspin possessing more of Shackleton's shrewdness than Malcolm's menace. But his achievement speaks of skill (he played 10 one-day internationals in the mid-'90s), stamina ("You've just got to put up with a bit of pain") and some extraordinary team-mates.

Early in his career Udal often bowled with Marshall wrapping knuckles at the far end. Now it is Shane Warne tormenting minds. "I've arguably gone from the best quick bowler the world's ever seen to the best spinner," he says.

Hampshire's current success has been another motivation. "I've just fed off everything that Warne's said. He's been a breath of fresh air for me." With a contract until 2006, Udal has no plans to retire, though the possibility of him (or anyone else) passing Shackleton's 2,706 wickets is remote.

Moment of the month Victory without Warne over Sussex, to keep in touch with the Championship leaders.

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