One’s a bubbly, extroverted Yorkshireman and the other’s a rangy and practical New Zealander, but together Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick managed to form one of England’s most successful Test bowling duos – as well as an unlikely friendship. Here, they talk to Henry Cowen about bowling in tandem, getting on better than people thought and going to the cinema together.
Despite both having long Test careers, you only played with each other over a four-year period. What are your memories of bowling together?
AC: I enjoyed bowling with Darren. There was always good banter and good rivalry between the two of us. He wanted to be the showman and I just wanted to get on and be who I was – which meant I just wanted to bowl.
DG: They’re all good memories. I’ve seen so much written in the past about how we supposedly don’t get on but it’s totally the opposite – he’s one of the few players that I’ve kept in touch with. We had a good, competitive relationship on the field. I always said that I had to have the wind because when you’re 6ft 7ins, have that bounce and you swing it away you don’t need the wind! I always needed it. He was pretty good, he obliged on most occasions and the two of us had a really great relationship.
AC: Goughy was a good character and we had good friendly competition which obviously we thrived on. We bowled well as a partnership and I don’t think there’s been a partnership since then that has bowled as well together.
It’s funny that there has been quite a lot written about you supposedly not getting on. Where do you think that perception has come from?
DG: It’s nonsense. I think what it came down to is that Andy would sometimes say stuff which could be taken the wrong way. If you know Andy and you know his personality then you could take it.
AC: When it came to cricket there was a competitive edge between us. We both had a lot of pride in our performance, we both wanted to outdo each other and we both wanted to be better than the guy at the other end, but that was never done in a malicious way. Funnily enough the pair of us would regularly go to the pictures the day before a Test match. We’d train in the morning then go into town and have a coffee with the lads or whatever, and then one of us would say ‘Bugger it, let’s go to the pictures’.
DG: It was rather romantic – two strapping, fast bowlers going to the cinema together!
AC: There was a real competitive edge between us but I’ve always felt that you have to earn your place in the team and for me that means being the best in England. I always wanted to be the best and I know Darren was the same. That’s his character and I think that’s why the two of us complemented each other very well.
DG: It does frustrate me when you hear bowlers now say that they all get on and that they’re rooting for each other and then it’s suggested that we didn’t do the same thing – Andy and I did exactly that. We were friends then and we remain friends now.
On the field, your bowling styles complemented each other as well.
AC: Definitely, he was short, dumpy and pretty skiddy, and I was tall and bouncy. It was a good partnership, a good, even partnership. I remember he used to run in and bowl as fast as he could – he was always checking the speed camera to see how fast he was bowling! But that’s what you wanted; you wanted a pumped-up character who would give 100 per cent no matter what.
DG: I was skiddy and quick, aiming to get players lbw and clean-bowled, and he tried to swing it away and get players caught behind so we did complement each other really well. It’s a shame that we missed so many Test matches we could have played together when you look at the wickets that we got together. We could have been a real, real high-end partnership.
Do you remember when you first came across each other?
AC: I met him when he came over to New Zealand for a summer with Dominic Cork, and even then as youngster, he was only about 18 or 19 years old, he was all bubbly and jovial.
DG: Yeah, I think we played against each other out there. When we played against each other, throughout our careers, we really tried to get each other out – there was no fast bowlers’ union! I got a seven-fer at Taunton in 1993, knocked his poles out and gave him a send-off!
When you were on the field in the same team, you were actually part of an England team that enjoyed more success than maybe it’s given credit for. Is that fair?
DG: It was the turning point for English cricket and that’s what people have to remember. Central contracts were just starting to bear fruit, Nasser and Duncan Fletcher came in and they had that winning mentality. Play hard, train hard – and we had to get fit. We had that success in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, we did well against South Africa, and we improved against Australia. I can tell you, I might not have won the Ashes but I never lost 5-0 against the Aussies!
AC: We were a team of 11 individuals who knew each other inside out. Enough credit certainly isn’t given to us considering we were still playing against a very good Australia side, a very good Pakistan side and a reasonably good West Indian side. We pulled off some impressive things and that was all developed by the Duncan and Nasser regime which saw players as individuals. For me and Goughy, it was very much a case of “There you go, Caddy, just bloody bowl,” and “There you go, Goughy, just bloody bowl. Do what you do.” And you two were a massive part of that success.
AC: We were just a team who really enjoyed each other’s company. We really knitted and gelled as a unit and that’s not just because Gough and Caddick were a great bowling pair – the team as a whole was a great unit.
DG: Plus Andy was always great to have around the dressing room because if the television doesn’t work he could fix it! He can fix anything, he’s a man of all trades, it’s remarkable the things that he can do.
It’s said that Nasser Hussain used to harness your competitive nature to the benefit of that side. Is that something that rings true?
DG: I’ve always said that about Nasser. Some people might not like him but I couldn’t say a bad word about him. He knew he had a good partnership with me and Andy and he wanted to keep that competitive edge between us, but he knew how to handle us both. That’s why he got the best out of us.
AC: That was the beauty of Nass, he would get the best out of players, and as far as Darren and I were concerned, because we had that competitive nature, he did use that to the team’s advantage. Whenever Goughy was bowling and I wasn’t I’d think “I want to bowl now, I want to bowl now, give me the ball.” The competitive nature between us was always part of the game – it wasn’t just about the opposition.
DG: When you think about it, we were totally different personalities in the dressing room which added to it as well. I was the marketable one out of the two, my personality was pretty strong and I was quite funny – whereas Andy was probably the straight man out of the two of us. But that’s why it worked, that’s why we were good together. I have enormous respect for his bowling. When people ask me who the best bowler I’ve ever played with is, I always say Andy Caddick, without a doubt.
AC: That’s what you want as a fast bowler, you want a bit of a rivalry with your partner at the other end – and that’s what makes a great partnership. You always want to try and bowl in a partnership, but the only serious partnership I felt I had in my Test career was between myself and Goughy.
Did you make each other better bowlers?
AC: Definitely. Put it this way, if I had Steve Harmison with me, I wouldn’t have been a success. It’s a simple fact: short and tall, two completely different bowling techniques, skiddy and bouncy, you can’t get better than that. You really can’t.
DG: We certainly made each other better bowlers – by having that competitive nature but also by having a friendship. He knows without me he wouldn’t have been the same, he needed somebody to run through a brick wall at the other end and put pressure on the batsmen with pace, and I needed him. We complemented each other well.
How do you compare yourselves to other England bowling partnerships like Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison and, more recently, James Anderson and Stuart Broad?
AC: I’m going to be very biased here – I would put us at the top of the tree, quite easily. Don’t get me wrong, Harmison was a wonderful bowler and Hoggard was fantastic. They were similar to us, but I’m not sure they ever got the wickets or the results that Goughy and I did.
DG: That’s a difficult one. We were very similar to Hoggard and Harmison; I’d like to think we were slightly better than them. If Andy and I had played together a bit more I think we would have been way ahead but I do like the Anderson and Broad partnership. They’re very good and they’ll both probably go on to get 400 Test wickets.
AC: Broad and Anderson are a great combination, but I don’t want to be big-headed, they are playing against some very weak teams in world cricket.
Do you sometimes fancy a crack at modern batting line-ups?
DG: Of course you do! But you’re always a better bowler when you retire. I look back at the players I played against and I feel privileged to have got them out in my career.
Are you still able to keep in touch?
AC: We are but we live so far away from each other that our lives don’t always mingle. I watched Darren on The Jump the other day – he’s looking more and more like a barrel every day! But that’s his character, he’s a laugh and he’ll give it a go. He’s just a very fun guy to be around. There’s always a door open here for him. The highlight of my career would have been the bowling partnerships that we developed. They were very special times.
DG: The only regret I have is that we didn’t get to play together as much as we should have done. I would have liked to have played for many more years with Andy. I think we both should have been playing a lot more from earlier on because he was always a high-end, quality bowler and we were good together.