History Books Reveal Notts Proud Kiwi Tradition

Featured News | 3rd June 2008

Historian Peter Wynne-Thomas looks at the Notts players that have represented England and New Zealand in Test cricket at Trent Bridge.

As it was only in 1969 that New Zealand first played a Test Match at Trent Bridge, quite a number of this year’s spectators will be able to claim to have watched every Kiwi Test in Nottingham.

Those who also support Nottinghamshire will have little difficulty in naming the most memorable performance by a Notts cricketer for England in the series – there have been eight matches in all, of which England have won five, New Zealand one, with the remaining two being rain-ruined draws. Have you recalled the performance – the season was 1983 and Derek Randall, batting as low as number 7, came in to join Ian Botham.

The pair tore the New Zealand attack to shreds, adding 186 in 135 minutes. Botham was out for 103, Randall for 83. One of the suffering bowlers was Richard Hadlee – he took just one wicket, that of Randall, at a cost of 98 runs.

Hadlee got his revenge three summers later when he took ten for 140 in that 1986 game (the only example of ten wickets in a match in the series) and scored 68. Due to his all-round cricket, New Zealand won by eight wickets. Hadlee played in no less than five of the eight matches, the most appearances by anyone on either side and in all took 24 wickets, again a series record.

Curiously in the first two games, in 1969 and 1973, New Zealand’s most successful bowler was Richard’s brother, Dayle. The two played together in 1973, the only example of brothers in the same eleven.

Randall was the first Notts player to represent England in the series, the county having no representative in the first three games. The only other Notts-registered players to turn out for England were Bruce French, who kept wicket in 1986 and Eddie Hemmings who played in the 1990 match. It was in this game that Richard Hadlee officially opened the William Clarke Stand and he was to be knighted in the Queen’s Birthday honours a few weeks later.

This was Hadlee’s final Test tour of England. Peter Such was England’s main spinner in the 1994 match, he had however moved to Essex from Notts via Leicestershire some years before being capped by England. Also in 1978, Mike Hendrick played for England, but he was still in the ranks of his native Derbyshire at that time.

The highest innings in the series and the only double century came from Graham Gooch in 1994. There is a marginal Notts connection to England in that game, Phil DeFreitas, now playing successfully for Papplewick and Linby, took nine wickets; he is now the Notts bowling coach. The slowest innings of any length came from Geoff Boycott in 1978. He struggled to three figures after five and a half hours at the crease and batted all the first day for 108. He then survived the best part of another hour on the second morning, making 131 in all. The bowler who tied him up was Steve Boock, whose 28 overs included 18 maidens and he conceded only 29 runs.

Aside from Richard Hadlee, Stephen Fleming played in the Nottingham Tests of 1994 and 2004, scoring a century in the latter season and Notts other New Zealand man was Chris Cairns (pictured top right), who took nine wickets in the latter match. Although Chris Cairns made his New Zealand Test debut in 1989/90, he was not selected for the Trent Bridge matches of 1990 or 1994, though I had better note that Cairns’ father (pictured top left) played in the 1978 Nottingham Test. All things being equal Nottinghamshire should have two players in the 2008 Test in Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad– a first for this series.


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