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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 May, 2003, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
Tufnell 'still wants to play cricket'
Phil Tufnell
Tufnell was crowned King of the Jungle
Former England and Middlesex cricketer Phil Tufnell would still like to be playing the game, according to his dad.

Alan Tufnell believes his son could return to cricket despite retiring so he could appear on the television show I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Tufnell won the jungle challenge on Monday and is set to be deluged with more television offers.

But his dad said: "I think he [Tufnell] would still like to be playing really.

"There is no blacker day in life for a sportsman than when you hang up your boots.

"But whether he will play cricket again, or what he will do, I just don't know."

Phil has put up with so much from the England cricket selectors in the last 15 years, eating a few measly worms and bugs isn't that much different really
Phil Tufnell's dad Alan

The 37-year-old announced his retirement just before the start of the county season when he left Middlesex.

However secretary Vinny Codrington told the BBC Sport website, it was possible Tufnell could return.

Codrington said: "If he wants to come back it would be up to the coach and captain to decide if he were needed.

"We would never say never because players of his quality don't grow on trees.

"If the boys decided we needed experience towards the end of the season to avoid relegation or push for the Championship then I'm sure we would consider him on a match-by-match basis."

Phil Tufnell in England kit
Tufnell in his cricket whites for England
Tufnell had played for Middlesex for 16 years and England on and off for a decade between 1991 and 2001.

He took 42 Test wickets at an average of 37.68 and 1057 first class wickets, at an average of 29.35.

Tufnell's dad believed his son would much rather be remembered for his cricketing achievements than for winning the reality TV show, which raised 1m for charity.

Alan Tufnell said: "I think he would like to be remembered for six for 25 against the West Indies, seven for however many against New Zealand and 11 in a match against Australia.

"I thought he was absolutely marvellous on the show. He was wonderful.

"He was absolutely as he is in reality. What you see is what you get with Phil. There is no pretence at all.

"That is part of the reason why he hasn't got twice as many England caps.


"He played in his first organised cricket game when he was four. I can still see him with his bat and pads bigger than he was.

"We always hoped he'd be a cricketer but this kind of celebrity was never on the agenda."

"When I was watching that bush tucker trial, which was pretty horrendous, it made me smile.

"He has put up with so much from the England cricket selectors in the last 15 years, eating a few measly worms and bugs isn't that much different really."

Millions see Tufnell crowned
12 May 03  |  Entertainment
Tufnell: King of the jungle
12 May 03  |  Entertainment
Tufnell announces retirement
10 Apr 03  |  Middlesex

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