DateLine: 19th October 2005
The career of Tim Tweats provides an extreme reminder of the unpredictability of professional sport. After 6 seasons of occasional appearances and unremarkable performances, he made his maiden First-class century in the final match of the 1997 season, an innings which contributed to the creation of Derbyshire’s highest ever batting partnership (417 for the 2nd wicket) with Kim Barnett. In the first match of the 1998 season he scored 161. And so his career was set fair. Or so you’d have thought. For the rest of the season he averaged barely 10. The following season sadly saw no upturn, as 1999 saw him average 3, and by this stage his struggles at the crease were painful to watch, but only because there was so obviously a high quality player inside. Inevitably his First-class career drew to a close here. The full reasons for Tweats extreme erosion of form and confidence may never be known. Perhaps he realised that he would be unlikely to achieve anything else akin to his stand with Barnett, or perhaps the transition from county also ran to history maker was too quick and too much. The truth is that Tweats could easily have been released in the early/mid 90’s (his 1st half century only came in his 4th professional season, and at the end of his 6th season he only had 3 to his name), and that his career could have been over well before he’d even got close to maiden centuries and record stands. Tweats still plays to a high standard for Leek in the Staffordshire league.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)