Tudor enthrals with tale of 99 for England
If a large Indian contingent left an Old Whitgiftian Twenty20 Cup event disappointed by their national team's result last Friday, they took away rich memories from the day's guests,
writes Ian Lamont
Entertainers: Saqlain Mushtaq, Alex Tudor and Azhar Mahmood were on the panel for an Old Whitgiftian World Cup Twenty20 event Picture by Fergus Burnett: No. CCRfb120609c02
Surrey's Alex Tudor, one of four guests giving talks before each of last Friday's World Cup games, was asked to explain how he was left stranded on 99 not out for England in 1999.
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The 31-year-old set the unwanted record for a nightwatchman against New Zealand.
Sent in for the last ball of the day, the relaxed right-hand batsmen did not argue, he told the gathering.
With England clearly heading to victory Stephen Fleming, the New Zealand captain, was determined not to let a tailender score a century against his side.
He did his best to curtail Tudor's scoring chances and to keep Graham Thorpe on strike.
Laid-back Tudor, coming off the field, was revelling in the adulation after England won but when he returned later that week to the Surrey dressing room with Thorpe, his colleague was roundly abused for not ensuring Tudor went past 100.
"He got hate mail," explained Tudor, "and I think he still gets it from my mum."
Asked about the influx of Kolpak players in county cricket, Tudor, currently out of the Surrey first team, said he had learnt a great deal from the likes of his fellow guest Saqlain Mushtaq, the ex-Surrey bowler now playing for Old Whits, but added there needed to be a "balance" between having them to learn from and developing English talent.
Azher Mahmood, late of Surrey now of Kent, also gave his insights, as did Mushtaq Ahmed, completing the Pakistan trio of panellists.
An auction to raise funds for Old Whits included a signed Surrey shirt, others with Pakistan and India team autographs, dinner with Saqlain and coaching for six youngsters with the spinner.