In the first of a regular series of features, www.nottsccc.co.uk sat down with new skipper Chris Read to ask him a few questions from fans.
What was the first cricket match you saw? - James Robinson, 15, from Newark.
I couldn’t say for certain as we’ll be going back a long time, but my dad is a lifelong fan of Somerset, so it’s bound to have been a game at Taunton when I was three or four-years-old. They still had all their big stars like Sir Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Joel Garner playing for them.
What is your favourite song? - Wes, 14, from the Meadows.
I’m hopeless on song titles but I know it’s on my ipod. Here we go - The Good Will Out, by Embrace.
What football team do you support? - Nigel, 16, from Mansfield.
Torquay United were only five minutes down the road from Paignton, where I grew up. I used to watch them a lot as a kid - but not so much in the last 10 years!
How long have you had your Notts cap? - Jack F, 15, from Winchester.
I was awarded my official county cap in 1999 and I’ve kept it ever since. I know it’s a bit faded in the sun but there’s no way I’m getting rid of it - I’ll get patches sewed on if necessary. I did change my one-day cap a couple of years ago, when the colour of the kit changed, but then someone swiped it when I was signing autographs after a Twenty20 game!
If you weren’t a wicketkeeper where would you like to field? - Sanjay, 13, from Beeston.
I’m so used to being involved in the game all the time that I would need to be in close to the bat. At backward point I would still be throwing myself around, and I do quite enjoy the thought of being in at short leg for the spinners, strangely enough.
Who’s the best player you’ve ever faced?
Muttiah Muralitharan as a bowler. Whatever you might say about his action, there’s no question that he is a genius in the way he can spin it so far both ways with such control. Ricky Ponting is probably the best batsman I’ve ever played against.
What’s your best-ever catch?
The most recent one that sticks in my mind was during a warm-up game on the Ashes tour of Australia in 2006-07. Saj Mahmood bowled a wide half-volley to a left-hander which was edged low and hard. It never got more than six inches above the ground and I took it one-handed with my left. I don’t know if I have one that I would call my best-ever, as such, but I could probably come up with a top five - and most of them would be with my left hand.
Who was your favourite player as a kid?
I went through stages as I grew up. Overall, I have massive respect for Ian Healy, but I remember watching Graham Thorpe when he first played for England, and also Jack Russell. But if we’re going back to my days watching Somerset, it would have to be Sir Ian Botham.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
In terms of my cricket? Watch the ball. That sounds incredibly obvious but in my experience it nearly always comes back to that. Rod Marsh was always quick to spot that in nets sessions - if you weren’t shaping up too well, it was because you weren’t watching the ball closely enough.
Who’s the best in training?
Interesting question. If Samit Patel is having a good net, you can expect the ball to go flying everywhere. We all get in on the act when we’re getting ready for Twenty20, of course.
What’s the biggest six you’ve seen?
My most surprising six was off Shaun Pollock for England against South Africa in 1999-2000. I launched him about 10 rows into the crowd at Newlands - I suppose I’ve hit a lot of sixes since but that one stands out. There was also one from Chris Cairns for Notts on a pre-season tour in Pretoria. Apparently he smashed a ball out of the ground at Centurion Park - he says he’s never hit a bigger one. At Trent Bridge, Pollock smacked one himself for Warwickshire which hit the clock at the top of the Radcliffe Road Stand.
Mastermind specialist subject?
I’m a petrol-head, so performance cars from the last 15 years.
What’s the last film you saw, and your favourite?
I’ve been out to see a few rom-coms with my wife Louise recently. The last one was 27 Dresses. My favourite film would be Old School - very funny.