Philip Clive Roderick Tufnell
April 29, 1966, Barnet, Hertfordshire
Right hand Bat
Slow Left arm Orthodox
Highgate School; Southgate School
The Bad Boy of English cricket in the 1990s, but the best spinner - left-arm or otherwise - as well. With a kick of the back leg, a skip and a jump, he had an approach to the wicket that is all his own, but Tufnell had great control of flight - he talked of his "ball on a string" - and tended to beat batsmen in the air rather than off the pitch. And the arm ball was hard to spot. His batting was more straightforward, and consisted of the shuffle to square leg when facing the fast bowlers or the optimistic waft outside off stump. Known as The Cat because of his love of dressing-room naps, he purred into action in his fifth Test against West Indies at The Oval in 1991, and produced another matchwinning performance in Christchurch that winter. But a troubled private life, a strained relationship with the establishment, and some uninspired captaincy meant he has been in and out of the team since then. Only occasionally has he returned to his mischievous, attacking best, although his Middlesex career, kickstarted by an irresistible partnership with John Emburey, never stalled. In April 2003, however, he abruptly retired from first-class cricket, to become the unlikely star of a reality TV show. Rarely seen without a beer and a fag, Tufnell has always been something of a folk hero, and he milked that to the full to carve out a successful career on TV and radio.
Batting & Fielding