Andy Caddick: 8 interesting facts about first New Zealand-born-English cricketer

Born on November 21, 1968, Andy Caddick turns 47 today. Known for his extreme bounce generated largely because of his height, Caddick picked 234 wickets in a Test career that spanned 62 matches from his debut in 1993 to his final game in 2003. After being overlooked for international selection, Caddick continued to be a force to reckon with in the county circuit with Somerset until his retirement in 2009. Rishad D’Souza presents eight interesting facts pertaining to the career and life of the bowler who is famous for having made the solid Steve Waugh his bunny.

1. First New Zealand-born-English cricketer

Caddick has the distinction of being the first New Zealand-born player to have represented England at the premier level. He was born in Christchurch, Canterbury and played a lot of his formative cricket in the country of his birth. In fact it was only at the age of 20 that Caddick felt things were not panning out ideally for him in New Zealand and shifted to England in search for brighter pastures. He initially turned out for Middlesex 2nd XI but in three years did enough to earn a call up to Somerset’s first side. He became a mainstay there and after making an impact in the county championship earned his Test cap in 1993.

2. Passion for helicopters

Another thing Caddick inherited from his native country was a passion for helicopters. “I grew up in New Zealand, which has the highest per capita use of helicopters in the world, especially in the South Island. Down in Christchurch, where I come from, you saw them used for skiing, scenic tours and so forth,” Caddick said in an interview. He is now a certified pilot and loves his new job.

3. Second innings giant

One major standout of Caddick’s career was his impeccable numbers in the second innings. He boasts an average of 20.81 in second innings of games as opposed to the modest 37.06 in first innings efforts. That is the sixth best second innings average for bowlers with at least 100 wickets to their name in second team innings.

4. Tastes Sachin’s ire

In the 2003 edition of the ICC World Cup, Caddick tried to unsettle Indian batsmen, particularly Sachin Tendulkar with unpleasing words. “Sachin’s just like another batsman in the Indian team, and there are a lot of others in the Indian side,” Caddick said prior to the game. In the following game Sachin scored a 52-ball 50 on a tough surface and six of those runs came of a emphatic hook to a Caddick short ball! Rahul Dravid, another Indian great top-scored for India scoring 62 taking the team score to 250. England managed to get only 168 in response.

5. Last of six bowlers to take four wickets in an over

Caddick holds the distinction of being one of only six bowlers to have taken four wickets in an over in Tests. He achieved the feat against the West Indians at Leeds. It helped England demolish West Indies by an innings and 39 runs inside two days. This is the most recent of the six such instances in Tests. The other instances were by Maurice Allom against New Zealand at Christchurch in 1929-30, Ken Cranston against South Africa in 1947 again at Leeds, Fred Titmus again at the same venue against New Zealand in 1965 and Chris Old against Pakistan at Edgbaston in 1978. The only non-Englishman to do it was Wasim Akram against West Indies at Lahore in the 1990-91 series.

6. Steve Waugh was his bunny

One clear indicator of Caddick’s quality was his penchant to consistently trouble and dismiss Steve Waugh; widely regarded as one of the best Test batsmen of his time. Caddick removed Waugh ten times and Waugh later said Caddick was one of the most underrated bowlers ever.

7. Dennis Lillee influence

Caddick said it was Dennis Lillee who made a major technical change to his bowling action which involved him going from chest-on to side-on. Lillee made the change to enable Caddick to develop a delivery that took the ball away from the right hander prior to which Caddick only had an inswinger.\

8. Sixth highest wicket-taker for Somerset

After making his debut in 1991, Caddick played with the Somerset county till the end of his competitive career in 2009. He played 191 matches and picked a whopping 875 Championship wickets for Somerset in those years behind only five others including Jack White (2,165 wickets), Arthur Wellard (1,517 wickets), Brian Langford (1,390 wickets), Ernie Robson (1,122 wickets) and Horace Hazell (957 wickets).

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)