Day in, day out Steve Watkin was one of the most reliable seam bowlers on the county circuit during the 1990s.
The cheerful seamer shouldered the burden of being both strike and stock bowler in the Glamorgan attack for almost every year since winning a regular place in the side in 1988. Despite a workload which might frighten other English bowlers, Steve rarely had a serious injury, and his consistency was rewarded with nomination as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in 1993. Given his consistency and wholehearted efforts, many people inside and out of Wales, feel that Steve should have played more for England.
He first made his mark for Glamorgan in the second half of 1988 when Steve took 46 wickets and recorded career best figures of 8/59 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. In 1989 he took a further 92 wickets and won both his county cap and selection on the England A tour in 1989/90 to East Africa and Zimbabwe. In 1990 Steve claimed a further 65 wickets and in the next seven seasons he claimed over 50 first-class wickets.
His consistency was rewarded with a place on the England A tour to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and in 1991 he made his Test debut against the West Indies at Headingley. The Glamorgan seamer rose to the occasion, taking 3-38 in the tourists second innings as England won by 115 runs. Steve re-appeared in the Second Test of the series at Lord`s, although he failed to take any wickets, and was omitted for the rest of the series. However, he remained in the selectors thoughts and toured the West Indies with England A in 1991/92.
After his winter in the Caribbean, Steve claimed 86 wickets during 1993, and regained his place in the England side for the Sixth Test of the Ashes series at The Oval. Matthew Maynard was also in the England side, and this Test was the first time two Glamorgan players had been chosen by England. It proved to be a successful one, both for the Welsh and English contingents, with Steve taking 4/65 in Australia`s second innings, as England won by 161 runs.
His efforts at The Oval resulted in his inclusion in the England party for the 1993/94 tour of the West Indies. Although not making the Test team, Steve did appear in four of the One Day Internationals and took 4/49 in the second match of the series at Kingston. This tour was the final time that Steve appeared in England colours, and with a Test record of two wins and a draw, he can lay claim to having never been on a losing England side in Test cricket.
Despite not being chosen again for England, Steve continued to be a most reliable opening bowler in Championship cricket, and his experience with the new ball was evident during 1997 as Steve formed a potent new ball pairing with Waqar Younis – one of the reasons why Glamorgan won the County Championship. He took a Benefit Year in 1998 and two years later was a member of the Glamorgan team that appeared in the Benson and Hedges Cup Final at Lord’s. He retired at the end of the following summer to become the Club’s Academy Director. He has subsequently fulfilled the duties of 2nd XI and bowling coach.
WATKIN, Steven Llewellyn
Born – Duffryn Rhondda, 15th September 1964.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In First-class cricket – 51 v Gloucestershire at Sophia Gardens, 2000; 8/59 v Warwickshire at Edgbaston, 1988.
In List A cricket – 31* v Derbyshire at Checkley, 1991; 5/23 v Warwickshire at Edgbaston, 1990.