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Darren Gough profile
Darren Gough was brought up a footballer. Idolising Glen Hoddle he sported a perm and an earing. Making his way up through the ranks of the Barnsley youth set-up, the midfield dynamo had played cricket only as a hobby, encouraged by his teachers at school.
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It was not until under 16 level that he made it into Yorkshire schools but from there his rise was dramatic. After taking 8 for 13 for Yorkshire under 19s he quickly made it into the full side where he played by his own admission within himself, in and out of the first team for a number of years until a piece of on field advice from Richie Richardson changed his career. The West Indian told Darren he needed to push himself and bowl flat out through a second innings spell that would secure him five wickets and open up a whole new attitude to bowling.
From being a typical English outswing bowler, Darren became what he describes as a more Asian type inswinger, mixing in yorkers and short balls. The England selectors had never had such an option and the Yorkshireman was quickly called into action, first with the A team and then the full side.
In the first over of his first Test match in 1994 he claimed the scalp of Mark Greatbatch, going on become the pick of England's bowlers on the tour of Australia that winter.
By his own admission, Darren was a big game bowler, excelling in the international arena while relatively underperforming at county level. Although he lists his greatest achievements as series wins in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, he is best known for his hat-trick against Australia in Sydney in 1999.
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Darren retired from Test cricket in 2003, continuing to play one-day internationals for another three years. He remains England's top wicket-taker in one-day games.
He combined playing for Yorkshire with appearances on Strictly Come Dancing in the 2007 series before folding away his whites for the last time.
He now works on a range of TV and radio shows, saving his bowling for charity matches and in the nets against his two sons. He likes to spend his free time riding motorbikes and firing paintballs at Andrew Flintoff while paragliding 50 feet above the Dubai coast.
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- Luis Suarez
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