Phil Tufnell Talks About The Time He Had To Face Merv Hughes In Perth

On Triple M Cricket

Rudi Edsall

5 December 2017

Rudi Edsall

Article heading image for Phil Tufnell Talks About The Time He Had To Face Merv Hughes In Perth

Ex-Pommy spinner Phil Tufnell wasn’t known for his batting skills.

In fact he could barely hold a bat.

Appearing on Triple M Cricket’s coverage of the Ashes, he spoke about the struggles he had when facing legendary Aussie tearaway quick - and another Triple M favourite - Merv Hughes on a quick bouncy deck at the WACA.

Listen to Tuffers' story here:

“I didn’t fancy Merv,” Tuffers said.

“They always told me to get my teddy — they called my bat my teddy… I can remember once at Perth actually going out there, fastest, quickest, bounciest pitch in the world.

“So I’ve gone out there with me teddy into the Perth sunlight, and I’ve taken guard cause I’ve seen them do that before.

“I’ve looked up and there’s [umpire] Dicky Bird, a friendly face… he’s gone ‘the bowler’s right arm over, there’s five balls to come, and he’s bowling really fast’.

“I didn’t need that.

“The state of the game was we needed 400 to win or I needed to survive for two and a half days, so it wasn’t looking good!

“I can still remember Graham Gooch as I walked out with me teddy from the dressing room saying ‘good luck Tuffers, you can do it!’

“So he’s come steaming in, I’ve seen it all the way from his hand, short of a length, just pitched outside off stump, so I’ve decided to play me favourite shot, which is the ‘ooh bloody hell, what was that?’

“It’s whizzed past me nose like that, and I’ve turned round and Ian Healy’s about 60 metres back, and I’ve watched it go all the way back to him.

“Oh dear. I don’t think I’m getting four runs on this deck.

“I’ve turned around and Merv’s right there, his face pressed up to me nose saying ‘ya Pommy arsewipe I’m gonna kill ya!’

“So I’ve got me teddy and I’m sort of fencing him back, saying get back.

“So I’ve forced big Merv back with me teddy to have another bowl at me.

“He’s come in again, short of a length outside off stump, I’ve played me favourite shot and this time I’ve got a little thumb on it in front of me face and watched it go back to Ian Healy.

“At this stage, I’m thinking ‘Catch it! Please catch it!’.

“Then we can all have two days off, go down the beach and have some wine.

“So he’s caught it, the slips have gone up, the crowd’s gone up, even I appealed.

“I’ve put me teddy under me arm, I’m walkin’ off, and as I’ve turned around Dicky Bird’s stood there going ‘I don’t know if you’ve hit that Tuffers!’

“I’ve gone ‘What!?’ You’re joking?’

“So quick as a flash I’ve said ‘Oi Dicky, I think I’ve broken me thumb!’ and he’s gone ‘well that’s out then lad!’

“And I said ‘bloody right it is!’”

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