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Colin Keeley: Debut: 1998. Old fat and Ugly. Still the best Seam Bowler in the Club.
Eversholt 2010 Scorecard Match Report
Profile (written 2008)
Colin Keeley is the most successful seam bowler in the club passing the 500 mark in 2009. He has taken 8 wickets in a match twice with best figures of 8-10 against local rivals Lilley in 2008.
It may take a while to reach the 600 landmark because there are signs that Keeleys body is considering betraying him and knifing him in the back or hamstring and stamping on his ankle while its at it. If none of that happens his elbow will become a oak rod instead.
Theres no doubt that Keeley has lost a yard of pace over the years as age and injury have taken their toll. In his prime he regarded the triathlon as childs play and the London Marathon as a brisk jog round the park. Sadly those days are gone forever on the breeze that he once used to run into while a series of injuries have restricted his effectiveness since 2005. He no longer rages in fury if the wicketkeeper elects to stand up to the stumps.
Whisper it softly but Keeley has edged closer to the status of dibbly dobbly merchant than ever before. He remains an effective opening bowler and still generates movement off the seam and can bring the odd delivery back into the batsman. However, while he still has the heart of a West Indian quick his body conveys the hostility of a Zimbabwean trundler. His economy and reliability are illustrated by the fact that he has delivered more than 400 maidens for the club and that may be where his future role lies, as a stock bowler rather than a spearhead of the attack.
Over the years Keeley has been no stranger to controversy, never willing to throw the first stone but seldom afraid to pick up a large rock after the initial pebble has been lobbed. A passion for justice burns brightly with the man who strides through life in black and white with no regard for varying shades of grey. Keeleys penchant for falling out with long-time friend, associate and captain Steve Bexfield have produced some of the finest moments in club history with the pair enjoying something of a love-hate relationship. Over the years they have shared disputes over getting lost, going to the wrong ground, failing to pick people up and the always popular debates regarding the lbw law.
His fielding is not what it was as the pain in his ankle has restricted his movement in the outfield although always a reliable catcher. His batting has been underused in recent years at least thats what the man himself would tell you. Despite batting 15 times in 2006 Keeley is still searching for his first 50 for the club an unbeaten 49 at Sandy is as good as its got while he failed to bat before the start of August in 2007.
His technique remains something of a violation of the MCC Coaching Manual in that his one only reason for existence at the crease seems to be the desire to hit the leather off the ball, this happens from time to time. The more often result of an innings is a comical shuffle towards the umpire before a plaintiff cry of a shooter done him ! In 2005 he even suffered the ignominy of finishing below Wayne Cutts in the averages, indeed the first 3 balls he faced that year resulted in three golden ducks.
Despite that he retains pretensions of being an all-rounder and is cultivating a new generation of players for the club with his Colts set up.
Despite his keen work on the pavilion and the coaching side of things, Keeley remains determined to succeed on the field and regardless of the odd cock up and occasional white lie there is no doubting his passion for the club.
The flame still burns brightly.