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Thread: One Who Got Away

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    One Who Got Away

    One Who Got Away

    There will always be those who fail to make the most of their talents or live up to early promise. Some are more frustrating than others, but none more so than Mark Lathwell, who Martin remembers in this feature
    grecian and superkingdave like this.

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    Hall of Fame Member grecian's Avatar
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    One of the more crushing disappointments in my sporting life, was so sure he would be a great. Didn't Dickie Bird think he was going to be a great too?
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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grecian View Post
    One of the more crushing disappointments in my sporting life, was so sure he would be a great. Didn't Dickie Bird think he was going to be a great too?
    Given his mental frailties, it sounds like facing Hughes & Warne was the mismatch of the century. And the 1993 Ashes was one of the worst times to make a debut if you weren't a seriously tough competitor. Not that there were many easy debut series around the mid1990's. I don't know what he's doing nowadays, but hopefully he's enjoying life rather more than he seemed to enjoy FC cricket.

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    From the moment he was selected the general consensus was that it was too soon, and the consensus included himself and his own father. It had the feeling of being doomed from the start (easy to say in hindsight, but it genuinely felt like that to me from the start).


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    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    In his post-retirement autobiography Alec Stewart mentioned Lathwell in passing, writing he was the one England player of my era who I believe just didn't want to be there. He played in two Tests and barely said a word. He changed next to his Somerset teammate Andy Caddick and despite all our efforts to involve him in conversations, we couldn't drag anything out of him. He went on wistfully If he had possessed the right mental approach he could have been anything in the game.
    That's an odd conclusion to make from Stewart - I don't see why someones readiness to flap their gums should have anything to do with their will to succeed, or their skill with the bat. What it does probably mean it that the senior men of the team - Gooch, Atherton, and Stewart were all poor communicators who couldn't understand why someone else might want to operate differently to them.

    It is interesting to speculate how Lathwell might have succeeded with a more sensitive skipper like Brearley running the show. A skipper with a "Degree in People" as Rodney Hogg once remarked. Far better I reckon.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    I was genuinely excited when he debuted. I hadnt seen him bat before and I was excited that England had a young guy who hopefully would be a part of the team for the next decade - or else why would he have been selected, right? Turns out that, on one hand, he was dealt a ****ty hand by the selectors who were desperate and throwing players against the wall hoping one or two would stick. In 92 and 93 England debuted 11 players, 8 of whom played 5 or fewer Tests in their entire career. That doesn't seem to show any plan or strategic thinking.

    On the other hand, he has two Test caps that no one can ever take away from him which he was unlikely to have been given under different circumstances. I dont doubt he had talent but it is a small part of the equation and unimportant when there are question marks against technique and confidence and also a lack of experience and maturity to know his own game. One suspects that the selectors had not done their due diligence which isnt a surprise for that period.

    There are a number of cricketers who you think may do a lot better if they were given a second crack at their career all over again. Unfortunately, I dont think Lathwell is one of them.

    Unfortunate situation he was put in but fortunate to get two caps. Hard to know if he was hard done by, lucky or both.
    Last edited by Goughy; 18-10-2014 at 06:08 PM.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I wrote this three months ago and left it as I hoped I might be able to get hold of Lathwell but sadly if any of my messages did get to him he ignored me - entirely in character of course.

    That was before KP's book came out, and a few West Country writers who came up on my radar whilst researching it were very critical indeed of Atherton and Stewart - I'm pretty sure this was all about Lathwell and no one else, but I did wonder earlier on as I was posting it up whether to hold on a bit longer and read KP's book and see if I got any more ideas

    .............. but then I couldn't face that

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    State Captain Chubb's Avatar
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    He would have been much happier if he'd just stayed in Braunton and maybe played a few times for Devon. It is sad, as a Devonian myself, that probably (almost certainly?) the greatest cricketing talent ever produced by the county came to nothing. But some people are not born for the limelight and he was one of them.
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