London: England bowler Darren Gough has revealed how he was suffering from a hangover following a late drinking session when he earned the winning runs for England in the dramatic end to the series against South Africa last year.
In his new autobiography 'Dazzler', which was serialised in Sunday's 'News of The World', Gough told how he had stayed up drinking with golfer Ian Woosnam in a hotel bar until the early hours before what turned out to be an historic day of Test cricket.
South Africa had struggled to make 155 for six on a rain-affected opening day and with the following three days washed out there seemed little hope of play on the final day and a positive result.
However after the pitch passed an inspection, both skippers agreed to forfeit an innings and Hansie Cronje's men set England a winning target of 249 off 76 overs - making Gough regret his actions of the night before.
He said, "I am still ashamed of the way I let myself down on the final day of England's Centurion Park Test triumph over South Africa.
"I have never walked on to a cricket field in such a disgraceful, self-induced state of disrepair as I was that last morning in Pretoria. I had already thrown up in the dressing room and I felt so bad I wasn't sure whether I had a hangover or was still drunk."
England skipper Nasser Hussain added to the Yorkshireman's woes by insisting he bowl 10 overs in a row as South Africa finished its innings. "Nasser wanted to teach me a lesson," said Gough.
"I didn't say a word. The merest of moans and he would have been down on me like a ton of bricks."
However, the day ended on a high note both for England and for Gough as he hit the runs, which clinched victory with only a few balls to spare. "My celebrations had more to do with relief than anything else," he said.
"I thought I was going to let England down.
"I hit the winning runs, but it's an experience I never want to go through again. I'd been totally unprofessional."
Copyright AFP 2001