Ottis Gibson

England are taking Ottis Gibson to Sri Lanka this winter as a bowling coach, mainly because Allan Donald is unavailable due to TV commitments. This is good news – Gibson has done very good work with Durham’s pace attack: Steve Harmison bowled very well for Durham until his back injury ruled him out for the rest of the season, Liam Plunkett made it into the England team and Graham Onions was often mentioned in dispatches.

However, Durham’s best bowler didn’t make it into the England squad at all this year. Gibson himself has racked up 75 first-class wickets at an average of just over 20, taking 10 wickets in a match 3 times. In fact he’s been the best bowler in England this summer (Muralitharan notwithstanding).

Two things have counted against him: he’s 38 and he’s West Indian. Neither, I believe, is an insurmountable obstacle to him playing for England. Add to his wickets the 577 runs he has got at an average of nearly 30 and you have the best all-rounder in England (Flintoff definitely notwithstanding).

Full marks to England for taking him to Sri Lanka but what a joy it would be to see such a nice man enjoying a final hurrah to his playing career on the international stage.


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