A footballer who became an English spearhead
Football, the most viewed sport in the world, has attracted numerous players over the years. People have watched the glory of legends like Pelé, Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo ( and the list goes on) and have dreamed of becoming themselves one.
One such Englishman was Darren Gough. Born on 18th of September, 1970, Gough was considered as a future footballer during his budding years. But the destiny had the last laughs and he went on to become one of the very good skiddy fast bowlers that England ever produced.
This broadly built English right arm quicky, made his ODI debut against New Zealand in May, 1994 and subsequently made the Test debut in the month that followed. Gough picked up four wickets and a career best of 65 on debut Test match, and thus put his case of filling huge shoes of Sir Ian Botham forward. But eventually Darren finished his career with Test batting average of 12.57 and hence proved that Botham's shoes were a bit too huge to fill.
Gough went on to take 229 Test wickets at 28.39, with career best of 6/42. He also took a Test Hat-Trick in the first innings of New Year's Test of 1999 at Sydney dismissing Healy, MacGill and Miller.
Gough is England's all time second highest ODI wicket taker only behind Jimmy Anderson with 235 scalps in 156 innings with the best of 5/44 at 26.42!
Nicknamed "Rhino", Gough featured in 248 first-class matches picking up 855 wickets and 4607 runs with lone hundred coming against Warwickshire in 1996 at Headingley. He represented same county as Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Vaughan and Joe Root - Yorkshire, from 1989 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2008. He also had a short stints with Essex in 2004 to 2006.
Gough had requested not to be considered for selection when The Poms toured Pakistan in 2005 stating personal reasons. Unfortunately he was omitted from the ODI side that toured India the following year. There were speculations of his career end. But, he made a come back during Pakistan's tour of England in 2006. However, a shin injury marked the end of an amazing career.
Apart from cricket, Gough took part in BBC TV show "Strictly Come Dancing" in 2005. Interestingly, Gough was invited by David Cameron to be the candidate for the UK's Conservative Party, a post he declined.
On his birthday, let us take a moment and wish Darren Gough. Happy 47th Darren!