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Mark Tattersall


Mark Tattersall: Debut: 1998. Terrible injury in July 2010, doubtfull for 2011.

After years of playing the game in the manner of a fat man who’d got lost on his way to the golf course, something clicked for Tattersall in 2007 as he became the key all-round component in the team.

In previous years he had drawn comparisons with Andrew Flintoff, primarily because they both enjoy a drink and have other halves named Rachel. Yet in 2007 the comparisons were made redundant as Flintoff struggled for fitness and Tattersall erupted like a giant zit, spewing forth runs and wickets and became the first player to seriously contend for the triple crown of best batting and bowling average as well as the performance of the season.

In the bible we are told that Samson lost his power after losing his hair. However, Tattersall seems to have gone from strength to strength after being shorn of his locks by Mother Nature. He may be as bald as a billiard ball and have the build of a jelly baby but there’s little doubt that Tattersall has become one of the most effective hairless cricketers since Steve Bexfield’s mate John Mansfield was in his pomp.

Tattersall bats with the air of a man who finds the game uncomplicated, opting to block anything on the stumps before unfurling an assortment of hoicks, mows, smears, nine-irons and even the odd genuine cricket shot to help the ball on its way to the boundary. His prowess with the bat may have only brought him one century but he has the ability to turn a game in a short space of time and if he were not quite so reluctant to put his hand in his pocket for a celebratory job he would doubtless have overcome his habit of getting out in the 40s.

His bowling looked to be on the wane at the start of 2007 as he was smeared to all parts of Hertfordshire with the ball frequently disappearing to the boundary (often through Steve Hoar’s hands or Qumar’s legs) and at one stage he was averaging over 150 with the ball. However, the tide turned for the Offley Express as he picked up steam and revitalized Offley’s Saracens League bid by ripping through Ickleford at Wardown Park to claim 7-21 to set up a memorable win. Tattersall is able to generate prodigious swing and can trouble most batsmen even though he conveniently made himself unavailable for the clash with Hatfield as Offley went all round the houses.

Despite a shoulder injury that has left him able to throw the ball with as much power as a small girl, Tattersall remains an accomplished fielder and is happy to do his bit in the field while he is a regular in the bar after the game, often dragging out his post-match shower and pint for as long as possible. Splish-splosh as they say.

He won the 2006 Offley Masters after manipulating the Handicap Committee in his desperation to emulate his sporting idol Ian Poulter and win a golf tournament. He will be unlikely to do so again in 2007 where he faces the prospect of playing off scratch as part of the Anyone But Tattersall campaign.