DateLine: 20th December 2005
Despite appearing in two Tests against New Zealand, Martin Saggers has been the forgotten man of Englandís victorious run in the summer of 2004. After a reasonable Test debut in unhelpful conditions in Bangladesh in October 2003, his chance in England came with both Simon Jones and James Anderson out injured. His first ball in an English Test clean bowled Mark Richardson, on a miserable afternoon in Leeds, and although he dismissed other top-order batsmen, he didnít really look capable of taking large numbers of wickets, and there was little doubt that he was very much Michael Vaughanís fourth seamer. Despite an enthusiastic run-up and action, his pace wasnít anything special for Test level. He didnít offer much with the bat, and as his Test debut had come when he was 31 anyway, his international career was always going to be a short one. The road to the three lions had been a rocky one anyway, with his career surviving a release from Durham in 1998. After settling in at Kent, he was joint leading First-class wicket taker in the 2002 season with 83 victims. Although his role in English Test history is likely to be annotated, Saggers at least has the consolation that every one of his Test appearances ended in victory.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)