So Farewell Then...

Only the other week, at some stage during the three days England spent bowling at South Africa at Lord's, I was watching them in the field and thinking, as I often have in the past, that somehow things just seemed right with Michael Vaughan leading the side, even if they obviously weren't. There was something indefinably reassuring about his coolness, authority and detachment, even if it had started to look as though some of his decisions had moved beyond tactical ingenuity and towards reflexive tinkering.

Things will never quite be the same again. While Vaughan has stated his intention to remain available as a player it would be a retrograde step to take him abroad this winter, and, come next spring, he'll be 34 and fighting it out with a range of younger contenders, at least one of whom may have established himself in his absence. He'll need a lot of runs, and, as Mark Ramprakash will tell you, that's still no guarantee of anything, even if you have Vaughan's past record.

On balance there must be a good chance that he left the Test arena for good yesterday afternoon, and, if so, it's time to thank England's best skipper since Brearley and a batsman who, at his best, could do wonderful things.

The afternoon of 10th August 2002 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, was, thanks to Vaughan, one of the best times I've spent on any cricket ground anywhere.

Cheers, mate.

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