Martin BICKNELL

Martin Bicknell - England - Test Profile 1993 - 2003

Photo/Foto: Nigel French

Date: 06 August 1993

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    • POSITION
      Right Arm Fast Medium, Right Hand Bat
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Tuesday, 14 January 1969
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Guildford, Surrey
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • England
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Martin BICKNELL - England - Test Profile 1993 - 2003

Martin Bicknell, identified as one of the promising youngsters who would be England's future when Graham Gooch started the rebuilding process in 1993, was hindered by back injuries and by the time he was back to full fitness had lost his pace and his chance. He was still a good enough medium-fast bowler to spearhead Surrey's wins in the English County Championship in 1999 and 2000, but by then a younger generation of opening bowlers had overtaken him in the race for a Test place. Bicknell and his elder brother Darren, a left handed opening bat, attracted the attention of the selectors at the same time and were both chosen to tour Zimbabwe with England A in 1989-90, before the Africans elevation to Test status and at a time their full side was chosen for the unofficial 'Tests'. Martin took 3-42 against Kenya but was not selected for the big matches in Zimbabwe until the second 'Test' in Bulawayo, when his figures were 4-74. In the third match in Harare he took 3-9.

 

He was chosen to tour Australia with Graham Gooch's England team in 1990-91 and, while not appearing in a Test, he bowled impressively in five one day internationals. Brought into the Test side at Headingley in 1993 he was unlucky to come up against the Australian batting at its best on a perfect wicket. He bowled 50 overs and took 1-155, getting Mark Taylor lbw for 27, but no one could dismiss Allan Border - 200 not out - and Steve Waugh - 157 not out. In the Edgbaston Test he took 3-99, dismissing Steve Waugh, Ian Healy and Merv Hughes but was dropped for the 6th and final Test of the series at The Oval. The years went by and Martin continued to take wickets for Surrey but his Test career seemed well and truly over.

 

Remarkably, though, he returned to the Test arena for the 4th Test against South Africa at Headingley in August 2003 - a full decade after making his last appearance. He did well enough with 2-50 and 2-75 but it was not enough to prevent England going down to a 191 run defeat which put the South Africans 2-1 up in the series. Bicknell was retained for the final Test at his home ground The Oval and he responded in magnificent fashion with 4-84 in South Africa's 2nd innings to help England to a series levelling 9 wicket victory. That really was the final appearance in his 'short' Test career and what a fine way to bow out it was for the Surrey man. (Bob Harragan)