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Where Am I? Phil Tufnell talks about his new autobiography

As Phil Tufnell's autobiography, Where Am I?, goes on sale today, he chats to us about writing the book, what readers can look forward to and how much he enjoyed writing it.

Tufnell had no idea what he would do when he retired from cricket in 2003, and this book charts his journey from cricketer to television and radio presenter.

He also taken part in reality TV (I'm A Celebrity), sparkled on Strictly Come Dancing and is a team captain on the long-running BBC quiz show Question Of Sport.

In this interview, he talks about the fun he's had since retiring, the people he has met and he has a stab at guessing what might be next for him as he continues his journey.

"At the moment, I'm just keeping a smile on my face and trying to keep it there for as long as I can," he concludes.

England have regained the Ashes with a fantastic 3-2 series win, something they weren’t backed to do so at the start of the series.

Tufnell was delighted with the way England played in the Ashes outplaying Australia.

“What a remarkable series indeed!

“Some of the results in two and a half days in Edgbaston and Trent Bridge, eight for fifty, Joe Root’s batting and everything.”

Tufnell also praised England's captain Alastair Cook for handling himself with dignity through what were tough times for the 30–year-old.

“I am also delighted for Cook as well.

“He’s had a rough old ride.

“He has handled himself with a lot of dignity and his batting is back to a bit of form as well and he will be absolutely delighted.

“It was good to see a good spirited Ashes series, there was no bitterness.

“I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.” 

With Australia facing a fourth consecutive Ashes defeat on England soil, Tufnell believes that it won’t be long before the world cup winners bounce back in the ODIs.

“The Australians will be smarting, that is for sure.

“They are a very proud sporting nation.

“They won’t like being at the end of an Ashes loss.

“I expect the world cup winners to come roaring back into the one-dayers.”

Nevertheless, Tufnell opined that England will not be an easy target, especially with the new brand of cricket they adopted in the New Zealand series.

“There is a new sort of a freshness about England’s one-day form from that New Zealand series.

“With that world cup, we got as low as we could have gone.

“Sometimes I think you need that to spark a bit of a revival.”

When asked who will eventually win the series, Tufnell said: “I am always going to say an England win. It is going to be very close, we might just nick it.”

England have been facing a dearth of quality spin bowlers ever since the retirement of Graeme Swann, who hung up his boots in 2013.

In the Ashes, England stuck to a pace attack with Moeen Ali and Joe Root turning their arms over whenever needed.

Ali put on a good show with the ball, taking 12 wickets from the five games at an average of 45.50, but was no match to Australia’s Nathan Lyon who took 16 wickets at 28.25.

Surprised at the lack of spin options for England, Tufnell stated that it was time to give Adil Rashid a chance in the UAE against Pakistan.

“I think I am a bit surprised actually.

“You look around in some counties, Adil Rashid is going to get a game in the UAE.

“Moeen (Ali) is a bit of a work in progress, he’s been getting better all the time.”

The 49-year-old also picked out a few youngsters who are showing promise in county cricket, while urging them to work hard and seize the opportunity to lay claim to the spot.

“There are a couple of young leg spinners knocking about.

“There is one down in Hampshire, Mason Crane.

“There is another at Warwickshire, Josh Poysden.

“What an opportunity they’ve got now to really stick their hands up and say ‘right, I am going to claim this place’.

“If I was a spinner nowadays, I would be down in the nets, every minute of every day, working on my game because there is a place there.”

England’s next Test assignment is against Pakistan in the UAE, a series that they ended up losing 0-3 when they toured in 2012.

Asserting that the conditions are completely different from England, Tufnell advised England to field an attack with at least two spinners when taking on Pakistan in UAE.

“Yes, very much so. Completely different from over here.

“There are going to be spinning pitches, so England have to play two (spinners), or even three.

“I am sure Pakistan will look to play two or three spinners.”

Following that tour, England will go down to South Africa to play a four-match Test series, which will get underway in December this year.

Tufnell expected a competitive winter season for England, but looked at it as a fantastic opportunity for the team to achieve great wins.

“Another big test, a big winter for England.

“They’ve got this done, the Ashes is done, and that is brilliant.

“Now, they have got a very tough challenge in the UAE and then going down to South Africa, they are the number one side.

“A really big winter and what an opportunity.”

Tufnell was speaking to Cricketworld at the launch of his Autobiography “Where Am I?” which will be released on 27th August.


Published in hardback by Headline
on 27th August 2015, priced £20

© Cricket World 2015