End of the Beginning? Or...

What by now has the feeling of a routine piece in The Independent about Monty, by David Lloyd (no, not that one).

I hadn't been aware until now that he was going to play domestic cricket in South Africa this winter and it'll be interesting to see how he gets on. With the way his form and confidence dwindled last season you wouldn't bet on him doing great things. It may be that a change of scenery, team and opposition do him good, but, given his obvious diffidence and the difficulty he's found in adapting his game to changing challenges in the past, he may well find things tough.

In cricket, as in life, circumstances can change quickly, and, at 27, time is still on Monty's side, but, with nothing in his armoury apart from his bowling, it's sure to be a difficult road back.

What happens for him in South Africa will go a long way towards deciding whether or not his batting at Cardiff in July is destined to be the last act of his Test career or merely the end of the first act.

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