Twin Towers

As anyone who appreciates sport betting will know, it used to be a regular occurrence that talented players appeared at top level in both cricket and football. Willie Watson and Arthur Milton reached International honours for England at both disciplines. Whilst the Compton brothers also appeared at a high level, with the longer seasons and more demanding fitness requirements, the chance to perform in both spheres has disappeared. Chris Balderstone once played first class cricket at Headingley on the same day he appeared for Carlisle United at Doncaster in the Football League and Phil Neale, who has been part of the England management set up since 1999, was left back for Lincoln and captain of the successful Worcestershire side in the 1980s.

In more recent times, talent in both areas has meant the need to choose, so Gary Neville (who was regarded as more talented than Freddie Flintoff in Lancashire’s age sides) chose football. Manchester United betting fans are extremely glad he made that choice! The added monetary incentives tend to push the dual sportsmen towards the winter sport but Warwickshire currently have an exception.

Keith Barker, whose father played cricket for British Guiana in the 1960s, had spells at Blackburn Rovers and Rochdale but has chosen to concentrate on cricket. In 2010, he managed to become a regular in the Bears' one day sides and during the coming season will look to establish himself in the Championship line-up. With Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott likely to be on Test duty, he should at least have the opportunity to impress.