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Friday, 17 August, 2001, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Impostor returns in Headingley hoax
Sports prankster Karl Power strikes again
England's cricketers may need all the help they can get against Australia - but no-one expected an extra man to actually appear on the field at Headingley.

Super impostor, Karl Power, who mysteriously appeared in Manchester United's team photo in Bayern Munich last season was back in action on Friday.

Dressed in England team kit and regulation helmet, Power appeared on the field just moments after captain Nasser Hussain had reached the wicket to replace dismissed Marcus Trescothick.

Officials, unaware it was the infamous prankster, initially thought Hussain or possibly his batting partner Mark Butcher had an injury and needed a runner.

I'd hid in the toilets for two hours and the plan was to go out at the fall of the wicket before the incoming batsman
Karl Power
The Laws of Cricket state that anyone 'running' must wear all the same clothing and equipment as the injured batsman.

But as 33-year-old Power removed his helmet after only a few paces, it was clear that the joke was on Headingley.

As he left the ground, the 33-year-old unemployed labourer received a raucous applause from the crowd.

Even stewards and a police officer gave him a round of applause as he crossed back to the right side of the boundary rope.

Power first shot to fame when he became the subject of a huge manhunt by the media after his mystery appearance in a team photo with Manchester United.

Clad in the correct strip, Power brazenly walked onto the Olympic Stadium pitch in Munich and stood next to Andy Cole before the Premiership side's Champions League quarter-final.

Gift of the gab

The great pretender fooled team members by saying that he had been invited there by former United star Eric Cantona.

And he had to be equally cunning for his Ashes Test appearance.

"I'd hid in the toilets for two hours and the plan was to go out at the fall of the wicket before the incoming batsman," Power said.

"But my mobile rang at the wrong time and when I'd finished talking Hussain was already out there.

"We're going to do five world-class stunts and release a video of them before Christmas.

"Munich was the best and this gave me a good buzz, and there are three more to follow."

Power's prank was the source of much mirth among spectators and officials alike at Headingley.

One of the Test Match Special commentary team even joked: "He is not the only one to masquerade as an England batsmen."

See also:

19 Apr 01 |  Funny Old Game
The hoax on you
20 Dec 00 |  SOL
Stars in their eyes
15 Jan 01 |  Football
The football scam
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