Jonathan Agnew bigraphy, stories - Cricketer

Jonathan Agnew : biography

4 April 1960 -

Jonathan Philip Agnew (born 4 April 1960) is an English cricket broadcaster and former professional cricketer. He was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, and educated at Uppingham School. He is nicknamed "Aggers", and, less commonly, "Spiro" – the latter, according to Debrett's Cricketers' Who's Who, after former US Vice President Spiro Agnew.

Agnew had a successful first-class career as a fast bowler for Leicestershire from 1979 to 1990, returning briefly in 1992. He took 666 wickets at an average of 29.25 and won three Test caps for England, as well as playing three One Day Internationals in the mid-1980s. His entire international career lasted just under a year. In county cricket, Agnew's most successful seasons came toward the end of his career, after his last international match, when he had learned to swing the ball. He was second and third leading wicket-taker in 1987 and 1988 respectively, including the achievement of 100 wickets in a season in 1987. He was named as one of the five Cricketers of the Year by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 1988.

While still a player, Agnew began a career in cricket journalism and commentary. Since his retirement as a player, he has become a leading voice of cricket on radio, as the BBC radio cricket correspondent and as a commentator on Test Match Special. He has also contributed as a member of Australian broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Grandstand team. Agnew's on-air "leg over" comment on Test Match Special, made to fellow commentator Brian Johnston in 1991, provoked giggling fits during a live broadcast and reaction from across England. The incident has been voted "the greatest sporting commentary ever" in a BBC poll; Michael Henderson, one of Agnew's peers and rivals, has described him as "a master broadcaster ... the pick of the sports correspondents at the BBC."

Private life and personality

In 1992, a year after he became BBC cricket correspondent, Agnew's first marriage to Beverley, to whom he was married in 1983, ended in divorce. He has written about the role that cricket played in the collapse of the relationship, comparing his circumstances with those of then England batsman Graham Thorpe. He also found that his job interfered with his relationship with his children: I had two young children, aged seven and five ... it was quickly evident that for me to have custody of my daughters – or even to form a relationship with them – was made impossible by my job. What chance do you have when, be it playing Test cricket or commentating on it, you are away for months at a time each and every winter? ... There was one occasion when I did not recognise my eldest, Jennifer, when I returned from one tour ... my children continue to ask me why I did not resign and take a job that would have kept me in the country and allowed me to see them more often. I find that one especially hard to answer." Agnew has subsequently remarried: he met Emma Agnew, current editor of BBC East Midlands Today, when they worked together on BBC Radio Leicestershire.Agnew. Thanks, Johnners. p. 54 Agnew suffers from Dupuytren's contracture, a medical condition that affects many former cricketers. The condition is causing Agnew's right hand to contract into a claw-like position. He has had eight operations, but it continues to degenerate and he finds the condition so upsetting he has considered having one of his fingers amputated. However, Agnew enjoys playing the piano and amputation would make worse his already impaired ability on the instrument.

During Agnew's playing career, a dispute with team-mate Philip DeFreitas attracted media attention: when DeFreitas poured salt over Agnew's lunch, Agnew responded by throwing DeFreitas' cricket bag and kit from the balcony of the dressing room. Former England cricketer Derek Pringle has written about Agnew's sense of humour, describing him as "hysterical". The pair toured Sri Lanka together on England B's 1986 tour. Pringle recalls that one hot day when England were in the field, Agnew came in for lunch: "It's ****ing [sic] red hot on the field, and when you come off it's ****ing red hot in the dressing-room," Agnew screamed. "Then, what do you get for lunch, ****ing red hot curry?"

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Living octopus

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