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I’m a former England cricket star – the team was so badly run I used to find out if I was playing by TELETEXT

PHIL TUFNELL played 42 Test matches for England and is one of the country’s finest spinners.

But the popular Tuffers, 57, revealed just how chaotic the organisation at the ECB was during his time in the team.

Phil Tufnell is on I’m A Celebrity… South Africa

Tuffers played 42 Tests for England between 1990 and 2001

And at one point the admin was so bad, he would have to check Teletext on his TV at home to see if he was in the squad.

Tufnell is currently on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… South Africa and in tonight’s episode gets chatting with his camp-mates about the iconic Ceefax pages in the days before smartphones.

He said: “England used to be so badly run when I played, I used to found out whether I was playing for England by Teletext. Page 340.

“You used to turn on the bloody telly and see your name up there and no one had phoned you.

“How bloody village is that?

“No one told you you were dropped. Ridiculous.

“Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh but it wasn’t particularly professional.

“It is now, extremely, all monitored and bloody diets.”


The revelation left his fellow camp-mates stunned and they could barely believe the lack of communication from selectors for the national team.

Tufnell took 121 Test wickets at an average of 37.68 between 1990 and 2001 – with a career-best 7-47.

The left-armer spent the majority of his first-class county cricket career with Middlesex, racking up 1,057 wickets.

He was nicknamed the Cat for his ability to fall asleep in the corner of the dressing room and also Two Sugars in a nod to his love of tea.

After retiring in 2002, he stepped into the media as a summariser for the BBC’s Test Match Special and had his own radio show with Michael Vaughan.

Tufnell was also a long-running captain on A Question Of Sport, won I’m A Celeb in 2003 and appeared on a host of other TV shows including Hole In The Wall, Would I Lie To You? and Strictly Come Dancing.

He is also an Arsenal fan and an ambassador for The Children’s Trust charity supporting kids with brain injuries and neurodisabilities.

  • Watch I’m A Celebrity… South Africa tonight, Thursday 11 May, on ITV1 and ITVX