|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Dean Headley looks back at playing on the sidelines of his dad's matches and using his bats
Interview by Jack Wilson
June 15, 2013
Gleanings : 'It burnt to be told I didn't have the heart to play as a bowler'
First experience of going to watch cricket
It's one of those ones that if you play well, you end up playing, not watching! I went to games with my dad [Ron Headley, the ex-West Indies batsman] when he was playing in the Birmingham League, from the age of about eight. I was off with him most Saturdays and I spent most of the time playing on the sidelines.
First cricketing hero
My first hero was Michael Holding. How can you describe him? He was the Rolls Royce of fast bowling. The West Indies side at the time that I was growing up was the best in world cricket. It was a great team to watch and, in my opinion, the best team of all time - and Holding was a huge part of that.
First cricket bat
My first-ever bat was the Slazenger Geoffrey Boycott. It was a long time ago. I had a Gray Nicolls Crusader too after that. Like everyone does, I used to always pick up my dad's bats and use them. I was lucky in that they were always very light: 2.1oz, 2.2oz.
First time you had a real desire to be a fast bowler It just happened really. As a kid most people thought I'd be a batter, not a bowler. My desire was to play cricket, not necessarily professionally. Then one day someone offers you a pro contract and you're on your way. Too many people set their stall out to do certain things, but I played the game to bowl every ball and bat every ball as they came along.
First Test call-up
I'd been knocking on the door for two years before I got the call for the Test team in 1997. It was a natural progression, really. I did well at first-class cricket and for two years I'd been doing well for England A. The set-up now was like it was back then, in that you prove yourself with the Lions before playing for the Test side. England tended to go away from that for a while but it's back as it was now. You get a phone call but it just gets announced and that was it, although speculation was rife beforehand.
I was actually coming back from injury and I had to play a Universities match for Kent on a slow wicket at Canterbury and I got no wickets - or maybe one. Then on my Test debut, it was quite funny in that I ended up with eight wickets against Australia.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
My XI: Erapalli Prasanna on his partner in crime, Bishan Bedi
Rob Steen: So long as people's sporting affiliations do not assume racially abusive or violent form, who does it harm whether they support their national side or not?
Switch Hit: The team reviews the 2014 county season
Aasif Karim's dream spell against Australia in 2003 symbolised a brief golden period for Kenya, but since his retirement, the country's cricket has nose-dived. By Tim Wigmore
Stuart Wark: It's easy to forget that some popular commentators of our time were also excellent cricketers
Plays of the Day from the Champions League T20 match between Chennai Super Kings and Perth Scorchers, in Bangalore
Ashwell Prince talks about proving critics wrong, scoring hundreds against Australia, and that unending partnership in Colombo
Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Dolphins and Lahore Lions in Bangalore
The Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Kings XI Punjab and Northern Knights, in Mohali
Cricket should look to not only shore up struggling and emerging cricketing nations but also to export the game with entrepreneurial vigour
West Indies' ODI squad for India is surprisingly light on spin, but the tour is an opportunity for Samuels and Russell to make strong comebacks
Without more fixtures with Full Members, they can't get more funds. Without funds, they can't keep their players
Though derided and sometimes ridiculed, county cricket still holds the key for the future of the game in England and if all involved believed in it just a little more, it could produce an even greater harvest