Martin John McCague
May 24, 1969, Larne, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
The rat who joined a sinking ship. That's what the Australian newspapers called Martin McCague - who was born in Ulster and raised in Australia - when he made his debut for England against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1993. McCague became a bit of a watchword for incompetence, especially after his nervy horror-show at Brisbane in 1994-95, but it's easy to forget just how well he bowled on his debut. He roughed up the Australian batsman - dismissing Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and David Boon, as well as taking a blinding catch to derail a rampant Mark Waugh - and changed the mood of the match, setting the tone for Graham Thorpe's debut century in the second innings. In Wisden Cricket Monthly, David Frith wrote that, "So fired was up was he that his first overs must have ranked with the briskest of Tibby Cotter and Keith Miller at this historic venue." In the same magazine, Bob Willis mused that "We will hear more of Mr McCague before this series is out." Sadly, we didn't: suffering from injury, he was spanked all round Headingley, and his next, and last, Test was that Brisbane shocker 18 months later, although he continued to terrorise county batsmen with Kent. And according to Steve Marsh's autobiography, McCague consumed 72 pints of Guinness during his stag weekend in Dublin. David Boon, eat your heart out.
Batting & Fielding