sport news England's 95 one-cap wonders sum up the beauty of the Test game

sport news England's 95 one-cap wonders sum up the beauty of the Test game
sport news England's 95 one-cap wonders sum up the beauty of the Test game
England's 95 one-cap wonders sum up the beauty of the Test game... amid claims the future lies in a 100-ball format, these stories are a reminder that Test cricket can touch us like nothing else An astonishing 95 of England's 698 men's Test players have appeared only once Their stories are being told in a new podcast series called 'One Test Wonders' With The Hundred in the limelight, it reminds us just how sacred Test cricket is Shane Warne's backing for Matt Parkinson to play in the Ashes isn't mind games 

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Forty years after his Test debut, against Australia at The Oval, Paul Parker still feels it. He made nought and 13, before returning to Sussex, where it took two seasons to rebuild his confidence and his game.

By then, others had overtaken him, and England had moved on. But for Parker, now 65, details of his only Test appearance remain vivid. 'Dennis Lillee was coming in, and I noticed the cross he wore — a gold necklace,' he says.

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'So I can't have been watching the ball. But I've got an England cap with my name on it, and my number, 492.' He pauses. 'I'm getting a bit emotional.'

Paul Parker (right) made 0 and 13 on his Test debut against Australia at The Oval in August '81

Paul Parker (right) made 0 and 13 on his Test debut against Australia at The Oval in August '81

If some of the claims made over the past week are to be believed, the future of English cricket lies in a 100-ball format that has quickly become the sport's marmite.

But the quiver in Parker's voice feels like a corrective to the hype: for those who played it, Test cricket cuts deep. His experience is all the more poignant for its brevity, and retold as part of a superb new podcast series by Brian Murgatroyd called One Test Wonders.

An astonishing 95 — more than any other country — of England's 698 men's Test players have appeared only once, and Murgatroyd has been busy talking to those still around. What shines through are the very human attempts to rationalise a few days in their lives that came and went. Emotions range from incredulity to regret.

Tony Pigott was playing domestic cricket for Wellington in 1983-84, the winter of England's 'sex, drugs and

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