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Tuesday, 22 February, 2000, 13:13 GMT
For Club and country

Andy Caddick is one of England's few true match-winners

BBC News Online's Thrasy Petropoulos speaks to England paceman Andy Caddick in Zimbabwe on his battle to secure international recognition.

Andy Caddick has long been a cricketer who has brought out mixed emotions in people.

Just how could a bowler good enough to take 200 championship wickets in two seasons for Somerset be deemed not good enough for an Ashes tour last winter?

Caddick's one-day record in SA/ Zimbabwe
v SA, Bloem: 10-1-29-4
v SA, CapeT: 10-0-29-1
v Zim , CapeT: 10-1-30-1
v Zim, Kimb: 10-2-21-1
v SA, EastL: 10-0-50-1
Final v SA: 9-1-19-4
v Zim, Bulaw 10-0-36-0
v Zim, Bulaw: 10-4-24-2
v Zim, Harare: 8-4-7-0
His real battles, it seems, have been fought as much against the England selectors as the opposition batsmen.

To prove the point, Darren Gough might have raised a few disbelieving eyebrows earlier in the tour but there was no denying his respect for his new-ball partner when he said: "I have always said Caddick was a better bowler than me.

"I have a good record in Test and one-day international cricket but when asked who is the best bowler in the country, I say 'Andrew Caddick'."

With Caddick finally finding his feet at Test level and being the spearhead he should have been five years ago, it is now possible to turn our attention to his limited-overs career. If anything it is a cause for even greater regret.

Out of favour

Caddick has played in more one-day games for England in the past five weeks than he had in seven years before the triangular series in South Africa.

His return has been 14 wickets at 17.5, but more pertinent to the role he plays in the side, he has conceded 245 runs off 87 overs, a rate of just 2.81 runs per over.

Gough Darren Gough rates Caddick as England's number one
In the final of the triangular tournament against South Africa, he all but bowled England to success with 4-19 off nine overs.

How could it be that someone who had not been trusted for over three years, and only occasionally before that, can now be called upon to bowl the first ball of the inning and has only twice in nine games gone above three runs per over.

"If you are trying to say, 'have I sorted my one-day game out' then yes, that's what I've done," is Caddick's answer.

"We play a lot of one-day cricket in England so I decided many years ago that I would play the game by restricting the scoring and it has probably now come through in international cricket.

"If I can go for less than 30 in a 200-run scoring situation then I will have done my job. I see my role as not really a wicket-taking bowler. I try to keep it tight and get the batsmen to make mistakes.

"I have done it through first-class cricket, one-day and now Test cricket. It is a bit annoying for me that I have not played much one-day cricket but I'll get amongst them over the next few years."

County problems

County cricket certainly helped Caddick in the amount of limited-overs cricket he played but essentially he sees his coming of age as a lone crusade.

"County cricket in England is good in that you are playing cricket but at the end of the day I've done it off my own bat," he said. "I haven't had someone to turn around to tell me 'look don't bowl like this, don't bowl like that, don't try and take wickets, just restrict runs'.

Caddick Caddick has proved a superb international wicket-taker
"That's the problem with county cricket. There aren't enough people telling you what to do in the right situations."

Caddick's wicket-taking capabilities were, in truth never in doubt. The real reason for being overlooked so many times, particularly for tours, was the perception of him as a prickly character, particularly one who blames others for his own shortcomings.

It is a reputation he vehemently denies.

"I was hoping to get to this place four years ago," he said. "Selection and bad form stopped me. I'm just happy that I'm back in the side and that I've had a good year and that I've proved a lot of critics wrong about being a bad tourist.

"It's been long-winded and I'm very tired now but I've really enjoyed this tour."

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See also:
21 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Fletcher's whitewash dilemma
20 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Hick seals series success
19 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Read the right way to tour
18 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Wobbly England scrape home
18 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
It wasn't pretty - Hussain
18 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
All White now
17 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
England's man of mystery
16 Feb 00 |  England on Tour
Hick's victory six
Links to other England on Tour stories are at the foot of the page.