DateLine: 22nd November 2005
Andy Cottam was one of many players auditioned by Derbyshire in an effort to fill their seemingly perpetual vacancy for a quality spinner. Signed for 1995 after being released by Northamptonshire, Cottam’s three Championship appearances for Derbyshire unsurprisingly came in mid summer (when seam bowling is at it’s least potent) although in three of the six innings he fielded in he wasn’t needed (or trusted) to bowl. As his one championship wicket cost 257 runs, it was no surprise when Derbyshire opted not to offer him fresh terms, although it was claimed at the time that he’d received medical advice telling him to quit the professional game anyway. It was therefore a surprise when Cottam reappeared for Somerset (a county he had already played for in 1992, and where his father Bob was Director of Cricket) in September 1996, to play on turning tracks at Uxbridge and Hove. Although an economy of under three in First-class cricket and under four in limited-overs cricket was acceptable, Cottam’s left arm spin simply never looked like it would do more than take the occasional wicket, which inevitably rendered his county career a short one.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)