DateLine: 20th December 2005
With just two ODI appearances for England, one in Kenya and the other in Zimbabwe, Paul Grayson had one of the most obscure English international careers of recent times. Picked as batting all-rounder, his bowling (mostly economical, but of no great rip or mystery) was definitely more suited to limited-overs cricket, although his batting wasn’t really of the big hitting or especially innovative style which usually comes to the fore in one day matches. A golden duck on debut was followed by 6 in his second match, although 15 overs for 3 wickets and 60 runs wasn’t a bad effort at all. Grayson had actually been toying with the idea of leaving cricket (and working for a brewery) when his first England call-up came in the autumn of 2000. After his home county of Yorkshire had released him at the end of 1995, Grayson joined Essex, where he made a home for himself batting at no.6 and contributing a few overs as fifth or sixth bowler. With a bowling average far higher than that for his batting, Grayson was always likely to have insufficient quality for a prolonged international career, although those who saw him play for Yorkshire and Essex will remember a decent cricketer. In 2005 he was full-time skipper of the Essex Second XI, and he formally announced his playing retirement. His brother Simon played football for Blackburn Rovers, and Paul himself had at 16 taken the rarely made decision to turn down a footballing career (he declined apprentice terms with Middlesbrough) to concentrate on cricket.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)