Finn toes party line for Middlesex

Middlesex's Steve Finn (pic Adam Davy/PA)

Middlesex's Steve Finn (pic Adam Davy/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Bowler puts body through pain barrier in cup success

Steve Finn’s toes looked as if they had lost a fight with the lawnmover, there were bandages everywhere.

There was not, however, anything wrong with them, and the England fast bowler was quick to point out the bandages were intended to ensure they stayed that way.

Looking down his six foot six inch frame towards his feet, planted firmly on the Radlett outfield, Finn said with understatement: “I have had my toenails removed surgically a couple of times. It is not the most pleasant thing to go through, so I have had to tape them up every time before playing.”

It is an age-old problem for fast bowlers. As even club bowlers know, bowling is an unnatural action that puts pressure on flesh, bones and muscle in way few other activities do.

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“We put our bodies through it, but I love playing cricket and to go out there and represent England and Middlesex you take a bit of pain,” added Finn.

“I do a fair amount of yoga, go running, work in the gym. We are a very professional outfit now, we look after ourselves to make sure we are available as often as we can. Fast bowling is a very strange thing to do to your body, but we do it because we love it, and days like this help.”

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‘Days like this’ was a reference to Finn taking 4-39 as Middlesex defended a below-par 243 to defeat Glamorgan at Radlett in the Royal London One-Day Cup on Wednesday.

That kept the county’s hopes of progressing to the knock-out stages alive ahead of their match against Essex at Chelmsford.

Winning, and performing well, was particularly sweet for Finn, and not just because it followed several days of drinks carrying as a surplus member of England’s ODI squad for the series against Ireland.

Looking around the outfield towards the adjacent lower ground Finn said: “This is where I played my first game of cricket in my life when I was about eight years old, on the bottom ground, so it is nice to play a List A game here and thankfully win as well.”

That first match was, said Finn, ‘a proper game with whites’, for Langleybury CC, but he bowled ‘garbage’.

On his return, two decades later Finn bowled rather better, testing Glamorgan with his pace, line and bounce. He was, he said focusing on ‘keeping it simple, having a smooth approach and trying to flow through the crease’.

He added: “The aim is to be in those England squads. I have missed out on the Champions Trophy so my next aim is the Tests, to hopefully keep bowling well for Middlesex and see where that gets me.”

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