The Test cricketer who turned cabbie

Ewen Chatfield, who took 263 wickets in international cricket, lives the hard life.

Chatfield (1988)There is a taxi driver in Wellington who is invited to the elite members' stand every time an international game takes place in the city.

Corporate Cabs’ driver Ewen Chatfield, 63, sits with former Kiwi cricketers, enjoys his drink and watches cricket from an exclusive stand. His friends talk about raking in millions through coaching and commentating deals but Chatfield is happy with his daily salary of a few hundred dollars.

The former medium pacer, who took 263 international wickets in his 14-year career, wakes up at 4.45 am and leaves home at 5.30 am in his cab.

Chatfield said the Indian bowlers didn’t seem to learn and were smashed around in the just-concluded ODI series.

“They bowled pretty ordinary, didn’t they? Look at the last ODI, conditions were ideal from them here. But, they could just not tighten their line and length and every now and then gifted a loose ball to the batsman. They don’t seem to be learning at all from their previous mistakes,” Chatfield told MAIL TODAY.

Ironically, Chatfield doesn’t have any of his match tapes. “The trophies too are lying in some corner of the house. In fact, you can walk into my house without ever knowing that I played cricket for the country. I though, now, sometimes wish to get videos of me getting hit in the head (by a Peter Lever bouncer) and my innings with (Jeremy) Coney against Pakistan and show it to my grandchildren. I'll do it someday,” he said.

Besides driving the cab, Chatfield bowls at weekends. “I can still play cricket for a few more years. I have got into over-60s New Zealand cricket competition. And, I can see myself driving a cab for probably seven more years. Hopefully, by then I will be in a situation to retire,” he said.

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Sun 2 Feb, 2014 1:30 PM IST

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