World Cup 2019: Ex-cricketer Eddie Hemmings shares insights on India's 1990 tour of England

Updated: Jun 14, 2019, 07:56 IST | Harit N Joshi

Former off-spinner Hemmings weaves together tales from India's 1990 tour of England - Kapil Dev's four consecutive sixes off him and dropping Sachin Tendulkar before he went on to score his first Test century at Manchester

World Cup 2019: Ex-cricketer Eddie Hemmings shares insights on India's 1990 tour of England
Eddie Hemmings at Trent Bridge in Nottingham yesterday. Pic/Harit N Joshi

Harit N JoshiNottingham: You could easily fail to recognise Eddie Hemmings in a hoodie jacket. The former England off-spinner, who is currently the vice-president of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, was at the Trent Bridge ground here yesterday to witness the India v New Zealand World Cup match, which was eventually abandoned due to rain.

Before being an administrator, Hemmings, 70, who played 16 Tests, 33 ODIs and 518 first-class matches, has donned many hats — he was a talent scout, a grassroot-level coach and curator. He also ran a post office.

Eddie Hemmings in 1990
Eddie Hemmings in 1990

Hemmings spoke to mid-day on a number on topics, ranging from the famous four consecutive sixes that Kapil Dev [77 not out] hit against him in the 1990 Lord's Test and letting Sachin Tendulkar score his first Test hundred on the same tour to how he spotted England all-rounder Moeen Ali for the first time in 2009.

Excerpts from an interview:

On Kapil's four sixes in a row to avoid the follow-on:
I am a fairly attacking bowler and not very negative [in my line]. Basically, I was trying to get Kapil out and he was trying to hit me for six. Mickey Stewart was our manager and he said to me that it doesn't matter as we were going to bat again anyway. But let me tell you, the boundary was pretty short as there was some reconstruction going on at the Nursery Road end. Well, I got him for seven in the second innings but not many talk about that.

On dropping (caught and bowled opportunity) Tendulkar:
I didn't mean to drop Sachin. It would have been a good catch. I dived to my right and got a hand to it, but it just didn't come. That was my only game against him. He was batting on around 20 or 30 runs. I was looking for him to drive back at me, but it went quite a long way to my right. When you bowl, you go to your left, so I had to move quite a lot to my right. I wasn't quite a young guy then [Tendulkar went on to score his first Test ton — 119 not out).

On spotting Moeen Ali back in 2009:
I picked Moeen when I was with the ECB [as a talent scout]. Graeme Swann was the No. 1 spinner then and we were looking at someone who could be his understudy. Two to three years later, Moeen was playing for England. He was playing at the Trent Bridge ground when I spotted him first. Worcester were playing Notts [Nottinghamshire]. He looked very good to me, had a lovely run-up, which he doesn't have now. He had nice flight, nice drift and turn. His run-up is the only thing that has changed now. If he had a bit more into his run-up, it would be really nice. I am a big believer of having a good run-up, but nowadays coaches don't really believe in that. A nice run-up and a proper action are a massive part of spin bowling.

On England's chances at the World Cup:
Of course, I want England to win but they should not get too arrogant which I think they got against Pakistan. They come in here and put in a side. Chasing in a World Cup match is the hardest thing to do. Therefore, you put runs on the board. It was a flat wicket, good weather and they put Pakistan in. Pakistan can beat any side on their day. India and Australia are very consistent but hopefully, England can put things in place.

Finally, on running that post office in Lincolnshire:
My wife and me wanted to get away from cricket after retirement. So, she ran the post office and I had a shop. In 2009, the government started closing down the post offices, so we were part of that closure. Then, my elder son had a child, so we came back to Nottingham to be stay closer to him. I was also curator at Carthorpe CC from 2008 to 2016.

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