Simon Kerrigan has suffered a fall from grace since making England debut in 2013

Lancashire CCC Photocall

If the difficulty of maintaining a successful career in a professional sport was ever in doubt, the fall of former England and Lancashire spinner, Simon Kerrigan, certainly displays it.

While taking the field at club level, cricketers in their 30's are still progressing in successful international careers or continuing the grind in county cricket.

The success of Chris Woakes in England's second Test against India at Lords shows the different directions in which a cricket career can go.

That's because, meanwhile, at the prime age of just 29, Kerrigan finds himself playing in Division One of the Northern Premier League with Fulwood and Broughton Cricket Club; a far cry from his previous days of playing top-level cricket with country and county.

Despite following different paths since, Woakes and Kerrigan will always be linked, having been selected for their Test debuts at the same time.

On August 21 2013, both men made their first appearances in England shirts for the fifth and final Ashes Test of the summer. England had already secured the series, having won three out of the four previous encounters.

Bowling just eight overs across the match, Kerrigan was attacked by the likes of Shane Watson and hit for 53 runs. To no one's surprise, Alastair Cook didn't trust the Lancashire man to bowl in the second innings.


Brought in as a second spinner to Graeme Swann, Kerrigan's disastrous debut caused a rethink for the Ashes series from November 2013 to January 2014. Replaced by Moeen Ali, Kerrigan's test career appeared over before it had barely begun.

In comparison, Chris Woakes has remained a mainstay in England's set up, with his performances peaking most recently against India at the home of cricket.

Proving himself as a genuine all-rounder at the highest level, the Warwickshire man scored a superb 137 not out to go with the four wickets he picked up as well.

Kerrigan's future in cricket once looked bright. After taking nine wickets for 51 against Hampshire in 2012 (Lancashire's best figures for more than half a century) he replaced Gary Keedy as Lancashire's main spinner.

His England call-up came after impressing further with the ball, taking 50 wickets at county level in 2012 and 2013.

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The stories of cricketers failing to reach their potential at international level is a common sight. recent examples may include Nick Compton, Mark Stoneman and although still young, James Vince appears to be heading that way.

Early this summer, Lancashire announced the spinner would be stepping down from playing duties, and turn to coaching at all age levels and club cricket.

Despite Woakes' career reaching new heights, Kerrigan appears to have had hit his peak in county and international cricket, leaving a County Championship winner and Ashes winner. Two achievements he can still hold his head high for.

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