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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
I'd pay to watch...

Test Match Special summariser Allan Donald names his favourite players past and present.

Bob Woolmer

As a child it was always rugby for me - I wanted to be a Springbok.

Bob Woolmer
Right-handed batsman and right-arm medium fast bowler
19 Tests (1975-1981)
1,059 runs @ 33.09
4 wickets @ 74.75
I enjoyed playing cricket in the summer, and my Dad always said that that was the sport that he'd rather see me play, but I was a rugby kid.

As a result I've never really had a player who has been a hero to me, but Bob Woolmer is the closest thing to it, he has always been my mentor.

When South Africa got back into international cricket in 1991 it came home to me that cricket was the one and I never looked back.

Bob is the man who got me on the path.

The things he has helped me with technically have been unbelievable and he is one of the best coaches I have worked with from a bowling point of view.

He understood the mechanics of my bowling and if I ever needed someone to have a look at the way I was bowling he was always there.

We first got together when I was at Warwickshire, and then he became the South Africa coach from 1994 through to 1999.

He was fantastic for me and my career with county and country, and together we just clicked.

Sachin Tendulkar

I've always been a guy for really special players, people who make a big difference, and Sachin Tendulkar fits that mould.

Sachin Tendulkar
Right-handed batsman
105 Tests (1989-present day)
12,229 runs @ 44.43
He's an outstanding cricketer, a freakish player, who has shots that no other batsman really has.

Overall my record against him wasn't bad. I did him five times, including the best nut I ever bowled to dismiss him in Durban in 1996.

The fact that he was at the other end made it even more special.

There are a few players around the world who have talent you have to respect and Tendulkar's one of them.

Playing them can be daunting, but is also helpful. When you come up against the best it gives you an extra challenge and the thought of getting them out fires you up.

When we played India I always targeted him, not a day before a match, but a week before - working hard, working him out, planning the weak spots and potential ways to dismiss him.

And I was helped by Hansie Cronje who stumbled across something watching him in action against the West Indies.

Curtley Ambrose did him from quite wide of the crease, bowling him a few times, and we strategised him from that angle.

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Allan Donald
03 May 03  |  Presenter profiles


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