What I have realised over the last three weeks is that its important to reflect on the great memories that cricket has given me.
It’s not about moping about the fact it’s finished, my old team mates have been on tour in Abu Dhabi and I can honestly say I haven’t missed the cricket. To be honest I haven’t given myself the chance to.
I’ve had a series of meetings about building my business Gidman & Co, some other chats with various people about random ideas but I’ve been busy, very busy.
Like I mentioned, I have given myself time to reflect and recall those fond memories and experiences.
I was fortunate enough to win two Lords finals very early in my career in just my second and third years.
Winning those one-day finals was immense, and the feeling in the dressing rooms celebrating with friends and family is one I will never forget. Ironically, both were against Worcestershire, where I finished my career, but for me it’s the first one that stands out more in the C&G final in 2003.
Worcester batted first and got off to a good start, back in those days 60-odd from ten overs was a great start, but I guess now it’s only okay!
Then from nowhere we got a run out, Jonty [Rhodes] changed the game but not with a diving stop or a one handed catch as you might expect but through pure fear and presence.
The ball was hit just to his left and the non-striker called yes, the striker no and before you knew it there was confusion and it was on. Surprisingly though Jonty threw a terrible throw to Boo Boo (Mark Alleyne) who took it superbly on the half volley out of the footholes and took the bails off at the non-striker’s end.
It sparked a collapse, [Graeme] Hick was out the next over for 0, while Ben Smith was also run-out, then some young 21-year-old burgled a couple of wickets in the same over and we bowled them out for 149. (APR Gidman: 7-1-12-2, to be precise)
After Harv [Ian Harvey] smoked around 60 in no time the game was all over and we champions. I was lucky enough to hit the winning runs, all be it with a leading edge whipping across the line, again!
The other game that stands out was a victory against Northants in a County Championship game at Gloucester.
I scored a hundred in each innings which was obviously hugely satisfying but the real story was the final innings of the match with Northants needing 420-ish in a day-and-a-bit’s play.
I was captain and thought the game was in the bag on a fourth-day pitch, on a turning and grubby wicket, but the small boundaries and lightning outfield was a possible leveller.
We found wickets hard to come by and probably didn’t bowl as well as we could have.
David Sales got set and looked in cruise control but we managed to bag him on 99.
Lance Klusener then took over and the game was getting tense, I can’t remember the exact numbers but I remember catching Klusener on the boundary with a few overs left and a small amount of runs needed.
But that last over produced the most amazing six balls you could imagine. I had everyone on the boundary except myself at short extra cover. I got a run out of the first ball, the second was a swing and a miss, the third went for two, then the batsman was bowled.
Northants had two balls and one wicket remaining when Monty Panasar walked to the wicket. Surely he would block two balls and the game would be a draw? Nope, a massive swing of his first ball, still needing six as it went straight up, I was under it!
Thankfully I took the catch and we had won what can only be described as an extraordinary game of cricket.
There were so many great games and memories, and I have been so lucky to play with, and against, some great players along the way in some very good times.