Middlesex’s trip to Trent Bridge this weekend has marked Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read’s 300th first class match.
The 35-year old made his debut in January 1998, whilst on tour with England A. His first game was against Kenya at the Ruaraka Sports Club Ground, Nairobi but he neither batted nor claimed a dismissal in the weather-ruined draw.
Significantly, there were no byes on the scorecard either.
That England A tour, skippered by Nick Knight, carried on to Sri Lanka and his second match was in Colombo, against the Sri Lankan Board President’s X1.
After making 24, the Paignton-born ‘keeper snapped up an edge off Jimmy Ormond to remove opener Ruwin Peiris – his maiden first class dismissal.
Four months later he made his Notts debut, at home to Durham – and again had a low-key start, beginning with a duck and failing to get his first victim for the county.
A week later, at Valentine’s Park, Ilford, he caught Essex’s Ronnie Irani, from the bowling of Mark Bowen to begin a haul of scalps for Notts which has now reached record-breaking proportions.
Read has scored 13,821 runs from his 299 first class matches, at an average of 36.75, with 21 centuries and a best of 240.
He has also claimed 892 catches and 47 stumpings.
For Nottinghamshire alone, he has played 256 games, scored 12,563 runs and completed 818 dismissals, with 780 catches and 38 stumpings.
Whilst Read remains some distance behind Thomas Oates, who collected 960 dismissals for the county, Read is now (818) within eleven of catching the second-placed man, Bruce French.
Both Oates and French collected many more stumpings than Read but his tally of 780 catches for Notts is unsurpassed – and there’s scope for plenty more yet, with the ink still wet on a newly signed 2-year contract.
Nottinghamshire supporters will bemoan the fact that he only played in 15 Tests but England’s loss has certainly been to Nottinghamshire’s advantage and all will want to congratulate him on reaching his latest milestone.
Well done Ready!