Wisden Cricket Monthly / Features

October 2004 - County Review - Sussex

Never too old

Few men manage career-bests in their 39th year, so Tony Cottey's match-winning 5 for 49 in the totesport match with Somerset warrants toasting

September 20, 2004

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Tony Cottey: 'It'd be a pity to pack it in' © Getty Images
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Few men manage career-bests in their 39th year, so Tony Cottey's match-winning 5 for 49 in the totesport match with Somerset warrants toasting. "It was a real turner and I don't have too many aspirations - I only bowled because Mark Davis, our best one-day spinner, couldn't," chuckled the unassuming soul who so richly deserved last season's Team Man of the Year award.

In fact, so rarely has he turned his arm over since wending Hove-wards, his Cricketers' Who's Who entry omits any mention of his bowling. "I used to share fifth-bowler duties at Glamorgan," he points out, a tad piqued. "The funniest thing is, Mushy has never had a Sunday league five-for. He had four against Scotland with three overs to go: I kept letting him know from slip he needed one more. But he never managed it."

Cottey, whose leisurewear business is doing nicely, was convinced this season would be his last when Ian Ward's arrival saw him omitted after the opening fixture against MCC. Then Tim Ambrose's unforeseen decline brought a recall, and a quiet-but-fiery 185 against Kent.

But it is the ice baths that have done most to relight the fire. "My back and hips got a bit sore because of all the to-ing and fro-ing to Wales, and that affects your fielding, but I've cut down the travelling and these daily baths have helped a great deal. It'd be a pity to pack it in."

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