RETIRED cricketer Michael Vaughan has said he ‘fell out of love’ with the sport towards the end of his playing days - but is looking forward to branching out into television presenting and an appearance on a certain dancing-themed talent show.
The former Yorkshire and England cricket captain has made a TV documentary on sports stars and retirement and is preparing to make a series of programmes for the BBC about the Olympics.
He will also be put through his paces in the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, but has been sworn to secrecy about the details, and is carrying the Olympic Torch in London.
Michael, who grew up in Sheffield and attended Silverdale School, also commentates on games for Radio Four’s Test Match Special and claimed he is happier behind the microphone these days than on the pitch.
The 37-year-old will be speaking to Olympic athletes and their families for the new series.
“I like the documentary work and I’m looking forward to the Olympics stuff, it’s good to talk to the athletes’ families,” he said.
“You never know what they are going to say.”
Michael, who lives with his family in Baslow, Derbyshire, said he thinks his success on Test Match Special is down to his relaxed, conversational approach.
“We don’t just talk about cricket, we cover pretty much everything,” he said.
“I always look at it as though I’m talking to somebody in the pub. As captain I was used to being open and honest with the players and I’m the same now when I talk on the radio.
“There is always a mental and technical reason why players fail. I accept that we have to make calls about someone that they may not like. I didn’t like it either but I realise now that it does not really matter what people say. You cannot let that affect you. You have to be stronger than that.”
The son of an engineer, Michael was born into a cricketing family who moved from Manchester to Sheffield when he was nine years old.
Legend has it that he was spotted playing with friends on the boundary during a Yorkshire game at Abbeydale and invited to join but wasn’t able to until the club scrapped their Yorkshire-born-only rule.
“I don’t miss playing at all,” said Michael, who bowed out in 2009.
“I’d had enough by the end. It was an easy decision for me. You know as a sportsman that it’s a short career. I would love nothing more than to score a hundred for England again but that’s not going to happen and I accept that.”
He said he has now completely given up playing cricket competitively.
“I wouldn’t want to be playing some up-and-coming young lads who were trying to impress,” he explained.
“I might have a game when my lad gets a bit older so I can play alongside him.
“I have no bitterness about the game, unlike some who have retired.
“I knew it was time for me and the England team to move on. By the end I had fallen out of love with cricket. I had battled against injuries for so long and spent so much time in the gym and working with physios that I had had enough.”
Next month Michael Vaughan adds the honour of carrying the Olympic flame to his list of achievements – which includes captaining England to a record 21 test wins.
“I’m looking forward to it. They haven’t told me where in London I’ll be running yet.
“I just hope I don’t drop the torch, I was never very good at catches.”