Why wicket was so special for Magoffin

Steve Magoffin

Steve Magoffin

First published in Sport
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Steve Magoffin admits he feared his career was over three years ago.

The Australian seamer took his 400th first class wicket in Sussex’s defeat to Somerset at Taunton this week when he dismissed Alviro Petersen in the first innings.

Magoffin said the milestone was made extra special by the fact he never thought it was possible.

Such an achievement certainly looked unlikely when Magoffin was let go by Western Australia at the end of the 2010 season.

At that stage he had 222 wickets to his name and the chances of adding to those looked slim as he began the 2011 campaign without a club.

Having returned home to Queensland to play grade cricket he did enough to be offered a second chance by the Bulls and the rest, as they say, is history.

The 34-year-old made an instant impact at the GABBA as he helped Queensland win the Sheffield Shield before joining Sussex.

Since moving to England his career has gone from strength to strength with 154 wickets in the two and a bit years he has been at Hove.

He admitted this week that he is bowling better than ever and that his brush with the scrapheap has been an important factor in his astonishing revival.

Magoffin said: “It is something I am really proud of to get to that mark. Going back two and a bit years now I didn’t really know I was going to play again.

“I was delisted by Western Australia and didn’t really have a job anywhere to go to. To comeback from that and kick-start my career at Queensland initially has been really exciting for me.

“It is nice to reach milestones that perhaps a few years ago I never thought I would have a chance of getting to.”

Magoffin has put his Indian summer down to giving up on his dream of playing for Australia.

The closest the 34-year-old came to representing his county came in 2009 when he was called up as cover for Peter Siddle.

Magoffin admits he put himself under too much pressure to perform to catch the eye of the selectors and has been able to relax since accepting his ambition was never going to be fulfilled.

The same could be said of Ed Joyce who, like Magoffin, has really blossomed in the latter stages of his career.

Joyce scored his fourth Championship century of the season against Somerset and was averaging over 100 until he was dismissed for a duck in the second innings.

It is something of an oddity that Sussex’s two best players – and two of the finest in the country – have never played Test cricket and never will.

Magoffin said: “Ed is the form player in the country at the moment by a long way. He’s been right up there for the past couple of seasons so I’m very surprised he’s not played Test cricket. There are reasons with his Irish commitments but he is playing so much better than anybody around the country.

“Ed is in a great place and it is so important for our other batters not to think they have got to be hitting hundreds as well. They have got to play their game and if they do they will get results.”

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