Guy Williams looks at what might be next for the bowler
Guy Williams looks at what might be next for one of England’s most popular and successful performers in recent years
from top to bottom, the game just can not live without sidey
Ryan Sidebottom, 39, may well have retired after an outstanding career spanning 20 years with England,Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, but, thankfully, from the next generation’s point of view, this left arm quick bowler won’t be saying goodbye.
While his distinctive features, longish, curly hair flapping on his shoulders and a galloping run to the wicket, will no longer be seen in first class cricket, Sidebottom is keen to pass on his experience to youngsters as a coach.
Yorkshire, with whom Sidebottom won three County Championships in 2001, 2014 and 2015, adding to the titles he won at Notts in 2005 and 2010, will shortly discuss with him a bowling consultancy role.
Sidebottom’s involvement with the game will also continue as he expands the work of his charity which teaches cricket to underprivileged children in Leeds.
Capped 22 times by England (79 wickets), Sidebottom’s bowling results were often sensational. A hat-trick against New Zealand at Hamilton in 2008 followed by 7-47 at Napier in the same series and a match return of 8-86 at Headingley in May 2007 against the West Indies on his Test recall.
His importance to Yorkshire can’t be exaggerated enough – 89 wickets in the consecutive Championship winning seasons – and to say that Sidebottom’s aggression, competitiveness and match winning skills will be badly missed is a gross understatement.
“As I look back, winning trophies thrilled me the most. That’s the pinnacle of a professional sportsman’s career. To win five Championship titles is something I’ll always cherish because I know how hard you and the team have to work throughout the season.You have to be consistent to be right up there.
“What was also very special was winning the Twenty20 World Cup in 2010.England had never won a tournament throughout history and then to beat Australia in the final in front of thousands of England fans was remarkable. There’s nothing better than beating Australia and thrashing them was amazing. Picking up a trophy like that and to do it in Barbados will live long in the memory.
“When I got my first England cap, I wasn’t expecting a call-up. I was young and hadn’t played that much first class cricket. When I was picked against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2001, it was weird because I wasn’t in great form. I was thrown in at the deep end and didn’t perform as I wanted to.
“I felt I certainly should have played again sooner. I was selected again seven
All-rounder: Ryan Sidebottom bowling for Yorkshire and, below, with his children Indiana, left, and Darley after winning the Division One title in 2015