Running out Ricky made my namebutended my career, too
Iwas always regarded as a good fielder. As I could not bowl, I felt I had to give something back to the first team and fielding was the only other thing I could do.
I was naturally quick and had good hands so I did not have to work that hard at it.
But being called up to England as 12th man was a Catch-22. If you are doing that then you are not being picked for your county.
I guess it is the next best thing to playing first-class cricket. I did it a few times, but I would still have preferred to be playing for Durham.
The first was in 2002 and it was great to be in and around the dressing room and feel part of the team.
There was no me and them – we were a team. Michael Vaughan had such an aura about him that when he spoke everyone listened and we had great discipline. I think they lost that when he left. His were big shoes to fill.
But the Ashes series of 2005 goes down as one of the best ever, the nation loved it and everyone was talking about it.
Running out Ricky (Ponting) was amazing, although I was just going through the motions. He and Damien Martyn were in and looking well set.
It changed the game and, thankfully, it was me that did it. It was the first one I got all season. Damien called for a ridiculous run – I did not have to move far – and Ricky kicked off which made it a bigger thing.
As soon as it hit the stumps I knew it was out. I don’t remember too much about it but it was a great day.
It changed my life and it is still all people want to talk about and remember me by. It was the end of my career, though, really.
England wanted me to carry on being 12th man and Durham did not. I was pushed and pulled and in the end Durham got sick of it and said I had to leave.
I had the chance to leave Durham in 2003 and I regret I stayed. Nottinghamshire wanted me and I am disappointed I did not do it, but after winning young player of the year and scoring 1,000 runs you don’t want to rock the boat.
Things were handy and probably too easy and I think I should have pushed myself out of my comfort zone.
But I did not look for a route back into the game. I had to sit down and think how long I had left. I chose to get on with my life.
I have never enjoyed playing cricket more than what I do now playing Minor Counties with Cumberland. I had a storage business initially and now I work in a cricket store, and we are renowned in the North East.
I have won a couple of trophies with Cumberland and I love it. It is a great place to play and we have developed a great side in the last ten years. It is an honour to captain them.