Virender Sehwag and Steve Harmison are expected to participate in the Titans of Cricket roadshows next week despite both ending the 2011 English season sidelined.
Sehwag’s recent visit to the UK was fleeting – his arrival was delayed until the midpoint of the npower Test series due to shoulder surgery, and despite receiving a cortisone injection, the discomfort was still apparent when an ear infection prevented him featuring in the limited-overs matches that followed.
Medical advice was to rest for 15 days, which will allow him to be involved in the four-nation showdowns in London, Birmingham and Manchester ahead of England’s tour of India next month.
Meanwhile, Durham fast bowler Harmison did not turn out for the county again after tripping on a football during the warm-ups of the contest against Sri Lanka A at the end of July. Word at Chester-le-Street is that he was also deeply angered by the club’s decision to release his younger brother Ben from the staff.
However, it is anticipated that he will join forces with fellow 2005 Ashes winners Andrew Flintoff, Marcus Trescothick and Paul Collingwood as England take on Australia, India and Pakistan in a cricket-meets-Gladiators TV show to be screened on Sky.
Twenty20 specialist is a familiar term in modern cricket but Surrey’s Matthew Spriegel is laying claim to a new specialisation. Despite struggling to hold down places in other competitions, all-rounder Spriegel has not missed a 40-over contest for 2011 Clydesdale Bank 40 winners Surrey for the past four seasons.
Spriegel, who hit the winning runs in the five-wicket win in the final at Lord’s on September 17, has made 40 consecutive appearances in the competition, stretching back to the 2008 season.
Meanwhile, runners-up Somerset were wrongly displayed as the Sabres on the official MCC-produced scorecards, despite having cut their nickname the previous year when they were also beaten in the final, by Warwickshire.
Alan Richardson, the most prolific bowler in Division One of the 2011 County Championship, has put off a permanent switch to coaching over the past couple of years to prolong his playing career but, having begun on a part-time basis at Shrewsbury School a year ago, he returns this winter with an expanded remit.
In addition to working under another former Worcestershire seamer Paul Pridgeon in the cricket department, the 36-year-old Stoke City fanatic is to coach football too and take care of the school third XI.
Graeme Swann will not be the only member of his family playing abroad for England this winter – dad Ray is playing in the veteran Ashes.
Swann senior is touring with England Over-60, who play five one-day ‘Tests’ against their Australian counterparts, during a month-long trip running from late November.
The 60-year-old made his international debut last month in Leeds when he cracked 99 against the Australians in a 135-run win, only failing to add another hundred to his collection when he was caught off the final ball of England’s innings.
“Thoughtfully our eldest son Alec texted his mum to tell me not to worry because at least one of our family had reached three figures on that ground,” Ray, who has 100 club hundreds, explained.
For the record, Alec scored his hundred at New Rover for Lancashire seconds against their Yorkshire counterparts.