Michael Vaughan, the former England cricket captain, gave the IPL selectors a belated nudge yesterday by storming back to form with a masterful innings in which he scored a magnificent century.
Vaughan was playing against youngsters in a park near his home in Baslow, Derbyshire, and, opening the batting, he destroyed the bowling as he despatched the ball to all corners of the ground, in his wonderful knock of 197.
The opposition, some as young as 8, had no answer to his forceful and elegant strokeplay, and looked visibly dejected and demoralised as the Yorkshire captain raced to his century in just under 18 minutes, with 4 sixes and 19 fours.
One bowler, Timmy Mapplebeck, 11, said:
"Vaughany was a different class. He may have been terrible in Test Match cricket lately, but he was on-song yesterday. We tried to contain him, but to no good effect. He's very difficult to get out when he's in that kind of aggressive mood. Top class."
And medium-pacer, Arnold Gosnold, 9, agreed, saying:
"Michael Vaughan is an inspiration to us all, especially when he plays like this. My first two overs cost 40, and I just couldn't bowl it on a length. You can't bowl like that to a player of his calibre!"
Attempting to reach his double-hundred with a six, Vaughan was eventually out, caught on the deep-square leg boundary by Jeremy Biddle, 10, who had to go home to his mum for treatment after clasping the ball too tightly during the catch.
Vaughan wasn't popular with everyone though. Local resident Ernest Grimshaw was gardening when the ex-England opener hoisted a huge six over mid-on, straight into Mr Grimshaw's greenhouse where he grows tomatoes, runner beans and cucumbers.
"He might be good at cricket, but I wish he'd bugger off to India!