CHRIS LEWIS

Clairmonte Christopher Lewis was born in Guyana, but moved with his family to North London. At school in London he met Phillip DeFreitas (must have been a useful school first XI?) - they both started their professional careers with Leicestershire in their teens.

For Chris a successful county career followed, playing not only for Leicestershire (in two spells) but also Nottinghamshire and Surrey. He also represented England in 32 tests and 53 ODIs. Career highlights would include a Test century (v India in 1993) and playing in the 1992 World Cup Final. At his best Chris will be remembered as a fine fast medium bowler, hard hitting lower order batsman and excellent all round fielder, but one who never quite lived up to his early potential.

Allegations of fellow players taking bribes to throw matches, that were never substantiated, and sustaining sunstroke in the Caribbean, having just shaved his head, did not help his reputation with both the public and fellow players. His professional cricketing career effectively ended at the age of only 32, although he did come back to play T20 matches for Surrey in 2008, but that proved unsuccessful.

Later that same year Chris was arrested at Gatwick, and subsequently convicted, of cocaine smuggling. He was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment, and served half of that period. Subsequently he has spent some of his time working with the PCA touring counties, talking to young professionals about the temptations and the need to think longer-term financially because a professional cricketer’s career won’t last for ever and can be brutally short.

Chris has also recently written a book "Crazy: My Road to Redemption" telling the remarkable story of his journey.

"I suppose this highlights how difficult it can be for former players to cope once they stop playing cricket" reflected Angus Fraser, his former team-mate.

Chris Coleman

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