Jason de la Peña
|Full name||Jason Michael de la Peña|
16 September 1972 |
Hammersmith, London, England
|Bowling style||Right arm fast-medium|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: Cricinfo, 30 October 2010|
Jason Michael de la Peña (born 16 September 1972) is an English journalist and Sky News, RT, Sky Sports, and ESPN-StarSports presenter and a former cricketer who played 11 first-class and three List A matches in the 1990s. Despite his small number of appearances, he managed to appear for no fewer than four different counties. He was born in Hammersmith, London.
De la Peña played for the Gloucestershire second team in the second half of the 1990 season, and the following year he made his first-team debut, in a County Championship match against Essex. He took 1–69 from 24 overs in Essex's only innings, removing Paul Prichard for 10. He played one other game that season, against Leicestershire, but then returned to the seconds, where he remained right through 1992. He did play twice in 1993, taking 4–77 against the Australians in June, but mostly he remained in the second team, and left Gloucestershire at the end of the season.
For 1994 de la Peña joined Surrey, but another frustrating season followed: he played no first-class cricket at all, and though he did make his one-day debut opening the bowling against Leicestershire in the AXA Equity and Law League he had a nightmare, being taken off after conceding 34 runs in just three overs and not being selected again that summer. 1995 was slightly better, as after taking 8–56 in a Second XI match against Leicestershire, de la Peña enjoyed a run in the first team for the only time in his career: in late July and early August he made two appearances in each form of the game, but again he could not manage to break through to become a regular in the side.
Two barren years followed: 1996 was spent entirely in Surrey's second team, and he was generally expensive even there, regularly going for five runs an over. The following season he played no county cricket at any level, his only appearance of note being in a minor match, for the Earl of Arundel's XI against Ireland in a friendly one-day game in August. He did at least take 3–39 on that occasion. In 1997, he made 3 Minor Counties Championship appearances for Hertfordshire against Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Buckinghamshire.
Kent took him on in 1998, but here again he was frustrated in his ambitions: he played only twice, and his three wickets cost more than 51 runs apiece. In June and July he had a terrible run, going seven first and second-team games without a wicket, although he followed that up with a fine run in the seconds, taking 30 wickets in six successive innings; this, however, was not enough to win him back his place in the first eleven.
For 1999 de la Peña moved yet again, to his fourth county, Worcestershire. He was selected for the first match of the season, a three-day game against Oxford University, and rewarded the county's faith in him by producing an outstanding first-innings analysis of 14–6–18–6, following that up with 4–34 to claim the only ten-wicket match haul of his career. He was to make only one more first-class appearance, a month later, conceding 82 runs from 13 overs against Hampshire for the single wicket of Nixon McLean.
De la Peña never scored more than 7 in a first-team game, while even at Second XI level he reached 20 only five times in more than 120 innings.
After the end of his cricketing career, de la Peña became a news presenter on Sky News, following previous stints at France 24 and RT. In December 2009 he made his debut as a cricket presenter on Sky Sports's international cricket coverage and was presenting when Sachin Tendulkar hit a record breaking 200 not out in a one day international between India and South Africa.