February 27, 2009

Sans 'tache, plus cab

He used to partner Richard Hadlee for New Zealand; now Ewen Chatfield drives a taxi around Wellington
  shares 36


"Once I get that hundred, I'll be gone. Vanished" © Cricinfo Ltd
 

"Good morning, Ewen Chatfield here." The voice is loud, warm and clear. You request an interview, a day before coming to Wellington, where he lives.

"Where will you stay in Wellington?" You tell him where you will stay.

"So I'll be there at 1pm."

"No, Ewen, I don't want to bother you. I'll come and see you."

"But I will be driving my taxi then, so I can't be sure where I will be."

How can Ewen Chatfield drive a taxi? I mean, you cannot drive a taxi in India, and most other places, if you have played 43 Tests and have had a successful pairing with the most iconic player of that country. And Chatfield of all players? He of the unruly hair, the long sideburns and the mo?

Next day. Phone rings. "Ewen Chatfield here. I am in the foyer." You go down and miss him. Most would. Imagine Chatfield with properly parted hair, a dark-grey suit and a tie. Without the moustache.

But the name tag on the breast pocket does say "Ewen". He asks you for some identification to prove you are indeed who you say you are. It's you who should be asking him for that reassurance.

You still can't get over the fact that he drives a taxi. Not that it's sad. Far from it. Chatfield has seen hardship at times, but he is a satisfied man with no complaints.

Doesn't he get recognised by passengers? "Surprisingly, it took three or four weeks for somebody to recognise me," he says. "I look a bit different now. No mo. And I have to wear glasses for driving." When he was coaching a side, his wards shaved bits off his moustache during a celebration and he had to take it all off. He was told he looked younger and has let it stay that way.

If you go by what you read of him, the personality might not be the same either. He was a man of economy - of run-up, of action, of words. He was the man who once got Viv Richards out caught down leg and told Ian Smith, the keeper, "That should have gone for four." That's what you read.

Chatfield is a funny man with faraway eyes. With long pauses when he speaks. Is idiosyncratic. Makes you laugh when he talks about his debut Test. Except that he almost died during it. Thirty-four years and two days ago; after a bouncer from Peter Lever struck him in the head.

"We were going to get beaten. There was no doubt about that," he remembers. "We had four days, then the rest day, and then the fifth day. Geoff Howarth and I had batted for an hour on the fourth day, which they grumbled a bit about. They wanted to go home. They had been to Australia and had been away from home for long.

"On the fifth day the forecast was for rain. So we carried on. We batted for another hour. We frustrated them.

"It was just one of those unfortunate things. I don't remember whether it was a bouncer or whether it was a shortish ball. It hit the top of the bat handle, hit the glove, and ricocheted onto my head.

"I knew there was something wrong. And when I got hit, I just went and knelt at the side of the wicket. If it hadn't been for him - I forgot his name, the England physio [Bernard Thomas] - I wouldn't be talking to you today. When I woke up on the way to the hospital in the ambulance, I knew exactly what my score was and what Geoff Howarth's score was. So, yeah, everything was okay."

Lever sobbed on the ground that day. He went to meet Chatfield later. But he never got any of his own medicine in return. "I never bowled a bouncer all my life," Chatfield says. "I wasn't quick enough for that."

Was it difficult mentally to come back? "No, it wasn't difficult. Just carried on as if nothing had happened… I got a helmet."

Chatfield was also a man who very rarely appealed. Not for him the backslaps and the send-offs. "I might have missed a few by not appealing."

India was never the place for him. His first time there, during the 1987 World Cup, he became the final victim in Chetan Sharma's hat-trick, and in the same match got hit for 39 in 4.1 overs. Sunil Gavaskar scored his only ODI century,a fiery one, in that game.

It is Bangalore a year later that Chatfield remembers. "Everybody told me how it was to tour India," he says. "Guys in the past, like Richard Collinge, came running in to bowl, and kept going. I went the first time and I thought there were no problems. There was no place greater than India.

"But after Bangalore, we all got very, very ill. Any New Zealander that was in India could have played for New Zealand. We were down to no one. There was times when guys got out of bed, took the bus, came to the ground, and went back to bed."

 
 
When he was coaching a side, his wards shaved bits off his moustache during a celebration and he had to shave it all off. He was told he looked younger and has let it stay that way
 

It hasn't been a great time after retirement. He coached his minor association, Hutt Valley, for a long while, only to lose the job when Hutt Valley merged with Wellington. His last job before the current one with Corporate Cabs, was that of a lawn-mower. Then two successive wet winters came.

"There was no income. I got frustrated that I couldn't do enough in summer without killing myself to make up for that." And just like that he called Corporate Cabs, because he "liked driving around". He got the licence and was employed. In between he has worked as a courier, a salesman at a chip shop, and has driven a dairy van. "One of your compatriots," he says of the dairy owner.

"I start at 5.30 in the morning, and I am only allowed to work for 13 hours a day. That's all. You think that's enough? Thirteen hours a day?"

He is not in touch with any of his team-mates. He claims he doesn't get nostalgic, doesn't watch old tapes ("I haven't even seen the 50-run partnership with Jeremy Coney, against Pakistan, to win the match"). There's no bitterness either.

What did New Zealand cricket mean to him? "A vehicle to be able to play against the best in the world. It wasn't a full-time job. I had to work as well. But, yeah, they enabled me to play." The faraway eyes. "Though I didn't dream of it when I was young. Later on, when I didn't get picked [for the 1978 tour to England] I was disappointed." Pause. "It must have meant something to me."

Does he have any regrets? None, but for that 1978 drop. "But I got over it."

There's one last wish before he can leave cricket. One hundred. He plays club cricket still, and the quest is on. "Once I get that hundred, I'll be gone. Vanished." Simple as that.

"We play on artificial wickets, only 40 overs. If they give me a good, flat wicket, and the bowling is not too good, I open the batting. Everybody knows I'm trying to get this hundred, but I'm getting slower and slower. I got to 70. Don't think it will ever happen."

You want to take a picture before he leaves. "Come out. We'll do it in front of the taxi. Let's get them some advertisement."

From a farm boy, to a Wellington player - Wellington, where he knew only five people when he first arrived - to a New Zealand Test player, alongside superstars like Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe, to a taxi driver, Chatfield is living an extraordinary life in a normal manner. Still being his own idiosyncratic self. Maybe he still is a farm boy. "I wasn't interested in farming," he says.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • gauravk on March 1, 2009, 21:51 GMT

    Really a very nice article. This is what journalism should be. Cricinfo and its reporters are much more than just statistics and match analysis.

  • Cayturtle on February 28, 2009, 15:40 GMT

    Hey Sidharth, A really nice and touching article. You really do a good job.Definitely NZ cricket should do something for such a genial man.I do remember his accurate bowling. Even through the tough times the man is a professional and has no bitterness towards anybody.

  • Getitdownyou on February 28, 2009, 1:57 GMT

    New Zealand's never been the same without Ewen Chatfield. Ever since he's gone we've missed him such a lot.

  • Sheela on February 28, 2009, 1:26 GMT

    If one remembers correctly, long back there was an article about Vasant Ranjane who probably played only one or two tests (Those days other than players from Bombay side no one elese ever got more chances and they have to be successful in every innings). There might be other cricketers in India also, even among the recent past. Except for Tendulkar, Dravid and other very few, other ex Indian players may not even have a sizeable income. So the situation of Ewen Chatfiled should not surprise any one.

  • Arsh on February 28, 2009, 0:52 GMT

    This is Cricinfo at its best. Superb article.

    I live in Auckland and let me tell you, taxi is not a bad business! Look at him, does he look like a man struggling in life??? Heck no!! So stop feeling sorry for him everybody!!

  • zashrafi on February 27, 2009, 22:00 GMT

    I agree with Jahangir. This is indeed one of the best article on Cricinfo. I remember Ewen simple straight run up and nagging line out side the off stump. Today some cricketers with half of the experience and exposure seem to think that they are on the top of the world. Godspeed Chats and thanks for teaching us how to be graceful and humble! Zahid Ashrafi, Orlando

  • mautan on February 27, 2009, 18:23 GMT

    ....And to think people like Dalmiya and Modi are making millions out of this game. Its travesty of justice that players like Chatfield who played in 43 test matches with 123 wickets, and 113 ODI's with 140 wickets at an economy of 3.5.....has to drive a taxi to support himself and family, whereas Lalit Modi, who probably never held a bat, drives around in a limo with a chauffer. Very very sad reading this article. All the strength to Ewen for living a honest life, and nothing degrading about driving a taxi too...however these are our heros, for all cricket fans..these players have worked very hard to play at the highest level. What is NZ cricket doing? Can't someone like Hadlee organize a game for Ewen? This is NOT fair. No matter how much of a brave face he puts in front of media, I feel there would be a bit a sadness in him for having to do this..epecially when players less deserving make millions...so worse even, people like Lalit Modi too.

  • morpheus123 on February 27, 2009, 16:33 GMT

    A wonderful article about a thorough professional who served NZ cricket the best possible way. Its high time the NZ cricket board bring in people like Chattfield to be the future coaches in their cricket academies .

  • rav10 on February 27, 2009, 16:22 GMT

    Sidharth Monga, thanks a lot for interviewing such a wonderful human being. he may not be a cricketing legend but living his life the way he wants to.hats of to u Sidharth Monga.

  • Krooks on February 27, 2009, 15:50 GMT

    Hi Siddharth, Thanks for sharing the story of Ewen, I remember him from the 87 WC as well. Wish there was any way to help him as I believe that it's important that we take care of our heros and sportsmen are our heros

  • gauravk on March 1, 2009, 21:51 GMT

    Really a very nice article. This is what journalism should be. Cricinfo and its reporters are much more than just statistics and match analysis.

  • Cayturtle on February 28, 2009, 15:40 GMT

    Hey Sidharth, A really nice and touching article. You really do a good job.Definitely NZ cricket should do something for such a genial man.I do remember his accurate bowling. Even through the tough times the man is a professional and has no bitterness towards anybody.

  • Getitdownyou on February 28, 2009, 1:57 GMT

    New Zealand's never been the same without Ewen Chatfield. Ever since he's gone we've missed him such a lot.

  • Sheela on February 28, 2009, 1:26 GMT

    If one remembers correctly, long back there was an article about Vasant Ranjane who probably played only one or two tests (Those days other than players from Bombay side no one elese ever got more chances and they have to be successful in every innings). There might be other cricketers in India also, even among the recent past. Except for Tendulkar, Dravid and other very few, other ex Indian players may not even have a sizeable income. So the situation of Ewen Chatfiled should not surprise any one.

  • Arsh on February 28, 2009, 0:52 GMT

    This is Cricinfo at its best. Superb article.

    I live in Auckland and let me tell you, taxi is not a bad business! Look at him, does he look like a man struggling in life??? Heck no!! So stop feeling sorry for him everybody!!

  • zashrafi on February 27, 2009, 22:00 GMT

    I agree with Jahangir. This is indeed one of the best article on Cricinfo. I remember Ewen simple straight run up and nagging line out side the off stump. Today some cricketers with half of the experience and exposure seem to think that they are on the top of the world. Godspeed Chats and thanks for teaching us how to be graceful and humble! Zahid Ashrafi, Orlando

  • mautan on February 27, 2009, 18:23 GMT

    ....And to think people like Dalmiya and Modi are making millions out of this game. Its travesty of justice that players like Chatfield who played in 43 test matches with 123 wickets, and 113 ODI's with 140 wickets at an economy of 3.5.....has to drive a taxi to support himself and family, whereas Lalit Modi, who probably never held a bat, drives around in a limo with a chauffer. Very very sad reading this article. All the strength to Ewen for living a honest life, and nothing degrading about driving a taxi too...however these are our heros, for all cricket fans..these players have worked very hard to play at the highest level. What is NZ cricket doing? Can't someone like Hadlee organize a game for Ewen? This is NOT fair. No matter how much of a brave face he puts in front of media, I feel there would be a bit a sadness in him for having to do this..epecially when players less deserving make millions...so worse even, people like Lalit Modi too.

  • morpheus123 on February 27, 2009, 16:33 GMT

    A wonderful article about a thorough professional who served NZ cricket the best possible way. Its high time the NZ cricket board bring in people like Chattfield to be the future coaches in their cricket academies .

  • rav10 on February 27, 2009, 16:22 GMT

    Sidharth Monga, thanks a lot for interviewing such a wonderful human being. he may not be a cricketing legend but living his life the way he wants to.hats of to u Sidharth Monga.

  • Krooks on February 27, 2009, 15:50 GMT

    Hi Siddharth, Thanks for sharing the story of Ewen, I remember him from the 87 WC as well. Wish there was any way to help him as I believe that it's important that we take care of our heros and sportsmen are our heros

  • biju on February 27, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    Thanks for the article Sidharth but I could n't enjoy the article.It is really sad to see that a player represented a country is earning his daily bread like that.ICC and local bodies make money with players and dump them when they are useless.It is high time to introduce a pension scheme for these players.I read a similar story about Sadanand Vishwanath -the former wicket keeper of India.It time to take action.Hope ICC will take initiative ot do something on that.

  • regofpicton on February 27, 2009, 12:17 GMT

    Chatfield was a better bowler than the selectors seemed to think, because he bowled straight, and some tests escaped us that we would have won if that skill had been properly appreciated. But he is not quite right whn he says he "went and knelt by the pitch" when hit on the head by Peter Lever. I had an excellent view of indicent, from the stand at square leg. He fell worse than any sack of spuds i've ever seen and he was having convulsions as he fell. I have very little doubt that the prompt attention from some of the English touring party saved his life.

  • Dinker-cktlover on February 27, 2009, 11:46 GMT

    Hi backtardchamp...just saw this article about this great humanbeing just now and read ur post..displayed at the bottom...There are many reasons why a subcontinental player would react differently....Here all ex-cktrs are eithet running coachingcamps,employed well,doing business well..making good money in short.i am sure that is not the case in NZ.When a sub-cont ex crktr sees many of his peers getting much more thna wat they re worth while hes in wilderness,he will definitely feel not-so-good about it.None of kenrutherford,mark greatbatch..(do anyone know/remeber them??)are moneyspinners...mayb its cos they werent gr8 cktrs...HOWEVER THE MOMENT BELONGS TO THIS GREAT HUMBLE OLD MAN.Though i should confess that i havnt remebred him since his retirement his cool attitude and take life as it comes attitude surely deserves all the praise..especially in these shaky times when jobs disappear faster than storms!!!!!!!!

  • 12th_man on February 27, 2009, 11:03 GMT

    Thanks for the great article!

    I was lucky enough to meet Ewen in Wellington at the Basin Reserve in '03 and he was happy to chat to me for about 20 minutes. He had lots of good stories to tell which I'm sure his passengers are lucky enough to enjoy today.

    Good luck getting the 100 Ewen!

  • lyoung on February 27, 2009, 10:49 GMT

    Looking at the photo of Chats by the taxi....he still looks unbelievably as slim as when he was playing test cricket. And he looks 10 years younger than his 58 years. What the current NZ test team could do with some of Chat's nagging tight seaming deliveries.

  • A.S.K. on February 27, 2009, 10:19 GMT

    Easily one of the most underrated cricketers that I saw in my life, and a guy who "busted his backside" for his country. It disappoints me to say that if he played 43 tests for Oz, he'd probably have a coaching job for a Sheffield Shield side, or a job at the Cricket Centre of Excellence (not distracting from his present job and past endeavours since his Test cricket career ended). But it makes me happy to say that I saw Ewen Chatfield play, and I saw how good he was - the guy who helped Hadlee to quite a number of his wickets, as well as taking wickets himself in style.

  • Jahangir_Nazar on February 27, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    One of the best articles I have read on Cricinfo in a long, long time. I wish Ewen all the very best. Our prayers are with him to score that century soon, God willing. If not, Ewen you can just be merry that you tried and its more imporant, trust me mate.

    WHat is NZC doing for the welfare of its players? At least do something and give him a monthly pension. But for Ewen's sake, I must say your story has inspired me a lot.

    Hope to hear from Sidharth and other cricket writers a lot more (articles) like this in the future

    Jahangir Nazar - Karachi, Pakistan

  • MiddleAndOff on February 27, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    Thanks for the wonderful, refreshing article! I remember seeing Ewen Chatfield taking an excellent outfield catch running back in front of the hill at Bellerive Oval (1988, I think). Obviously Hadlee copped alot of abuse in those days but I seem to remember Ewen being hated even more. Why? Becauses he was professional, methodical, disciplined. The antithesis of the 80s cricketer! Strange how times change. It would be nice to see him happily retired but it is great to see an ex-professional sportsman with such a down to earth attitude. I'd love see more articles like this. Reminds me of the excellent Brian Statham article I read here once. Look it up, people!

  • Bingoe on February 27, 2009, 9:40 GMT

    I think Ewen would be a bit embarrassed by some of the "sympathy" being given for him here! He played test cricket at a time where it wasn't about the money and the pay was barely enough to meet expenses (well, in New Zealand anyway). I played cricket at Naenae cricket club, Ewen's Wellington club, during the 90's whilst he was a courier driver. I can't say the rest of the guys thought it strange that he was a former test cricketer with a normal job.

  • cricket4shafiq on February 27, 2009, 9:18 GMT

    Thanks --- i liked it & enjoyed it. This is about a 'human-aspect' of a commercialized game.

    Shafiq form islamabad....

  • The_Wog on February 27, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    Why should NZC have to do something for Chatfield, Philip? Would he really be better off spending the next 40 years sitting on his butt on a pension than he is doing an honest day's work and feeling good about himself? What about the other pre-Packer Test players that weren't featured on Cricinfo this week - are they entitled to anything? Where does the money come from to retrospectively pay pensions where no scheme existed? It's not like he's starving.

  • S.h.a.d.a.b on February 27, 2009, 8:58 GMT

    it was unbelievable to believe on this story if i wasn t really read myself. i m not happy to see a cricketer like this after retirement. i wasn t great fan of him as a cricketer but now i m fan of him as a human. thanks for cricinfo to share this with us.

    - Shadab

  • Surya.Sripati on February 27, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    Very interesting - Insightful as well, took me back to one of my own beliefs that "what is important in life is life but not the results of life" - Being in the moment!

  • vidhyashankar on February 27, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    this is a great story...

    amazing how simple and uncomplicated Ewen is...

    no great expectations, seems plain living!!

    heart warming, curious and a bit amused too...

    keep it coming sidharth

  • backyardchamp on February 27, 2009, 7:38 GMT

    Interesting contrast to what a subcontinental player in a similar situation might have said. The former Kiwi is a picture of contentment despite some monetary hardships, accepting his lot in life as opposed to a subcontinent player who would have used this forum to lament his non-recognition by former players, state, country etc. Has the subcontinent lost the spiritual high ground to the developed world?

  • sudhindranath on February 27, 2009, 7:22 GMT

    It is so refreshing to see Chatfield talk about the ups and downs of his life without any rancor or disappointment. He sure gives the picture of a man really at peace with himself. In the final analysis, probably that is worth more than the millions that some cricketers might make but still spend their lives being unhappy about something or the other.

    Here's a sincere wish that Chatfield does score a century in one of his club cricket games before he retires... And best wishes for the rest of his life.

    Thanks for a wonderful article.

  • cook on February 27, 2009, 7:16 GMT

    Thanks for a great article. I love reading about what past players are doing now. More articles like this please !!

  • Yutairui on February 27, 2009, 6:11 GMT

    Agree with many of the above...great story and it seems Chatfield is a fine man. I'd love to see more of these types of stories. By chance, the first summer I ever followed cricket was 1977-78 during the brilliant series between Bobby Simpson's Aussies and Bishen Bedi's Indian team. I didn't know about the stars who'd deserted to WSC, but I can still remember Sunny, Prassana, Chetan Chauhan, Dilip Vengsarkar and the like and what a great, gripping series it was, going all the way to the wire and India making a valiant fourth-innings chase in the fifth test in Adelaide only to fall just short and the Aussies win 3-2 in a seesaw battle. Forget the Chappells, Lillee, Marsh, Thommo...my heroes were blokes like David Ogilvie, Gary Cosier, Craig Sergeant, Sam Gannon, Tony Mann, Rick Darling, Peter Toohey and Ian Callen. I'd love to know what happened to some of the men from that era.

  • faisalj on February 27, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Great article! Especially refreshing (in a strange sort of way) from the usual fare, where players are involved in T20 event which makes them millionaires for just being on the field. One can only reminisce about how money has taken from the game its simplicity and so also the beauty. I am sure there are many such stories about cricketers of yesteryear that I hope Cricinfo will make into a regular feature.

  • philipbkk on February 27, 2009, 5:32 GMT

    We all know how former indian cricketers have been treated,some had to wait 25 years to get a decent pension and some like the great Kapil Dev have been relieved of their pension..well it doesn't happen only in India,after playing 43 test matches ewan chatfield is driving a cab...well life is simple after all...i think its time NZC woke up and did something for this guy

  • sripree on February 27, 2009, 5:19 GMT

    I remember the 87 World Cup Match very well. Sunny thrashed Chatfield. He was good bowler. Glad to hear he is happy with his life.

  • rohanbala on February 27, 2009, 5:18 GMT

    I remember having read in the Newspapers during his playing days that while Ewen Chatfield did all the hard work by bowling tight at one end, Richard Hadlee took the wickets and walked away with acclodes. Also, I remember it was the England spinner John Emburey who gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Ewen when he got hit by a ball from Peter Lever.

  • Praveen_Loves_Cricket on February 27, 2009, 5:02 GMT

    Kudos to Cricinfo for such articles which provide insights into the human side of this delightfully addictive sport! I wish Cricket New Zealand has some kind of Union/Alumni association for Cricket Players - which can be supported by the official Cricket Board of NZ, especially given the disproportionate price money these days (read IPL)!

  • ruvvy on February 27, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    Good article. He seems to be enjoying life. Glad for that. Especially, considering how some of our prima donna's can do nothing but crib.

  • nambu on February 27, 2009, 4:07 GMT

    Wish we had more of his kind to keep cricket a gentle mans game!! Got transported back to the early eighties!! And gave me a lump in my throat. Awesome article!!

  • cricket.fanatic__ on February 27, 2009, 3:38 GMT

    Nice article. Its nice to know about some of the not so famous cricketers and where they are after retiring. Some of them dedicated their life to this sport but without any returns. It touches your heart after learning about all the hardships they face - a totally different spectrum from the ones that have become rich due to this sport.

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  • cricket.fanatic__ on February 27, 2009, 3:38 GMT

    Nice article. Its nice to know about some of the not so famous cricketers and where they are after retiring. Some of them dedicated their life to this sport but without any returns. It touches your heart after learning about all the hardships they face - a totally different spectrum from the ones that have become rich due to this sport.

  • nambu on February 27, 2009, 4:07 GMT

    Wish we had more of his kind to keep cricket a gentle mans game!! Got transported back to the early eighties!! And gave me a lump in my throat. Awesome article!!

  • ruvvy on February 27, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    Good article. He seems to be enjoying life. Glad for that. Especially, considering how some of our prima donna's can do nothing but crib.

  • Praveen_Loves_Cricket on February 27, 2009, 5:02 GMT

    Kudos to Cricinfo for such articles which provide insights into the human side of this delightfully addictive sport! I wish Cricket New Zealand has some kind of Union/Alumni association for Cricket Players - which can be supported by the official Cricket Board of NZ, especially given the disproportionate price money these days (read IPL)!

  • rohanbala on February 27, 2009, 5:18 GMT

    I remember having read in the Newspapers during his playing days that while Ewen Chatfield did all the hard work by bowling tight at one end, Richard Hadlee took the wickets and walked away with acclodes. Also, I remember it was the England spinner John Emburey who gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Ewen when he got hit by a ball from Peter Lever.

  • sripree on February 27, 2009, 5:19 GMT

    I remember the 87 World Cup Match very well. Sunny thrashed Chatfield. He was good bowler. Glad to hear he is happy with his life.

  • philipbkk on February 27, 2009, 5:32 GMT

    We all know how former indian cricketers have been treated,some had to wait 25 years to get a decent pension and some like the great Kapil Dev have been relieved of their pension..well it doesn't happen only in India,after playing 43 test matches ewan chatfield is driving a cab...well life is simple after all...i think its time NZC woke up and did something for this guy

  • faisalj on February 27, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Great article! Especially refreshing (in a strange sort of way) from the usual fare, where players are involved in T20 event which makes them millionaires for just being on the field. One can only reminisce about how money has taken from the game its simplicity and so also the beauty. I am sure there are many such stories about cricketers of yesteryear that I hope Cricinfo will make into a regular feature.

  • Yutairui on February 27, 2009, 6:11 GMT

    Agree with many of the above...great story and it seems Chatfield is a fine man. I'd love to see more of these types of stories. By chance, the first summer I ever followed cricket was 1977-78 during the brilliant series between Bobby Simpson's Aussies and Bishen Bedi's Indian team. I didn't know about the stars who'd deserted to WSC, but I can still remember Sunny, Prassana, Chetan Chauhan, Dilip Vengsarkar and the like and what a great, gripping series it was, going all the way to the wire and India making a valiant fourth-innings chase in the fifth test in Adelaide only to fall just short and the Aussies win 3-2 in a seesaw battle. Forget the Chappells, Lillee, Marsh, Thommo...my heroes were blokes like David Ogilvie, Gary Cosier, Craig Sergeant, Sam Gannon, Tony Mann, Rick Darling, Peter Toohey and Ian Callen. I'd love to know what happened to some of the men from that era.

  • cook on February 27, 2009, 7:16 GMT

    Thanks for a great article. I love reading about what past players are doing now. More articles like this please !!