At 5 foot 4 inches, Tony Cottey is one of the shortest players currently playing county cricket. But few have a bigger heart than the right-handed batsman from Swansea, who during the 1990`s became one of Glamorgan`s most consistent middle-order batsmen.
He is equally at home in both the one-day and four-day versions of the game, scoring 1465 runs in 1995 and 1543 in 1996, whilst in 1998 he hit a remarkable 77 off just 42 balls against Northamptonshire in the AXA League after Glamorgan had been set a stiff target of 174 in a mere 24 overs. Despite the asking rate, Cottey skillfully steered Glamorgan to victory with three balls in hand.
Cottey had a modest season during 1997 as Glamorgan became County Champions, but even so, he still shared a match-winning partnership with Matthew Maynard against Essex at Cardiff and helped to guide Glamorgan to a crucial victory. He returned to form in 1998 but at the end of the season he rejected a new two-year deal with Glamorgan, and joined Sussex on a five-year contract. In 2003 he won his second Championship winners medal as the South Coast club won Division One of the competition, and during the season, Cottey enjoyed a purple patch of form with a sequence of hundreds.
Cottey had first played for Glamorgan in 1986 after a brief, but quite successful career as a professional footballer with Swansea City, during which time he won Welsh Youth soccer caps. After deciding to concentrate on cricket, Cottey soon established a regular place and won his county cap in 1992. In 1996 he was appointed the county's vice-captain, and the following year, Cottey scored 203 against Leicestershire, fittingly on his home ground at St.Helen`s where he had first played as a schoolboy with the Swansea club. During this career-best innings, Cottey also shared a club record 7th wicket partnership of 211 with Otis Gibson.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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