Do you remember the 2006 Test series between hosts India and England? There were a lot of notable things about that 3-match rubber. To begin with, England were devoid of half of their first-choice players including their captain Michael Vaughan. Then, it was also the time that the Sourav Ganguly-Greg Chappell saga was playing on.
It had been less than a year since England had regained the Ashes in that memorable 2005 series. But after having lost in Pakistan and missing their key players, not much was expected of them. The first Test was drawn with a young debutant named Alistair Cook getting a hundred. The second Test was won by India and the last one was played in Mumbai. England managed to turn things around in this match and by recording a great victory, level the series.
Can you recall who the leading wicket-taker was in the second innings of that Test where India got bundled out for 100? Maybe you can't. It was Shaun Udal, a veteran county player picked specifically to play in Asian conditions during England's tour to Pakistan in 2005 and to India the following year. Sadly, this cricketer now finds himself battling the dreaded Parkinson's disease.
Udal made his Test debut in 2005 during England's tour to Pakistan. Interestingly, his ODI debut came more than a decade ago, in 1994 against New Zealand. After his key role in shaping the famous win at Mumbai, he faded away from the spotlight. A conventional off-spinner, he proved deadly for India on that fifth-day Wankhede wicket that was breaking up and with career-best figures of 4/14, including the prized scalp of Sachin Tendulkar, led his team to a victory. This was the last Test of his career.
Apart from this exploit, he had a very fruitful career in county cricket. Representing Hampshire and Middlesex, the tall offie played 301 first-class matches and picked up 822 wickets. He announced the fact of his having been diagnosed with Parkinson's on social media and shared his feelings about it with a radio station.
Struggle with Parkinson
Parkinson's is a neurological disorder which is degenerative in nature and affects a person's movements. With time, patients suffer from symptoms like shaking and stiffness of muscles.
Udal showed great courage in talking about the disease in his interview and revealed that he found out about his condition earlier this year, following a brain scan. He said that the disease will have to be fought 'head-on' and also mentioned seeking the help of people around him in retarding the disorder's growth. There has been a lot of support shown for the veteran cricketer with not just English colleagues but even ex-players like Michael Clarke and Kevin Pietersen getting in touch with him.