Left-arm seamer Harry Gurney joined Nottinghamshire from Leicestershire ahead of the 2012 season and established himself as one of the game’s leading white-ball bowlers, winning trophies with Notts and in T20 franchises around the globe.
Harry Frederick Gurney was born in Nottingham on 25 October 1986. He attended Garendon High School, Loughborough and Loughborough Grammar School; developing his cricket through the Leicestershire age-group system and with his club, Loughborough Town. He played for Leicestershire Second Eleven from 2006 and for Bradford/Leeds UCCE while studying at Leeds University, before making his First-Class debut for Leicestershire at the end of the 2007 season. Gurney played for Leicestershire in all forms of cricket but had limited opportunities in four-day cricket and elected to join Nottinghamshire at the end of the 2011 season.
He made his First-Class debut for Nottinghamshire against Somerset in April 2012 and played his first List-A and T20 matches later that season. Although latterly he has become a limited overs specialist, Gurney had considerable success with Nottinghamshire in First-Class cricket, before retiring from red ball cricket at the end of the 2018 season. In seven years, Gurney played 85 times, taking 275 wickets, with a best of 6-25 on a remarkable April morning at Old Trafford in 2018 when he combined with Jake Ball to dismiss Lancashire for 73. Gurney was always one of Notts’ leading wicket-takers in four-day cricket and his contribution was missed in 2019 after he opted for a white ball only contract. Never renowned for his batting, his career top score of 42 not out helped save the follow-on and secure a draw in the all-important final fixture of the 2017 when Notts secured a return to Division 1 of the Championship.
Gurney tasted success in white ball cricket in just his second season at Trent Bridge as part of the Notts side which beat Glamorgan at Lord’s to win the Yorkshire Bank 40. Gurney played in all 13 matches in that year’s competition and took 18 wickets, including a Notts career best 5-48 in the Group match against Sussex at Trent Bridge. His form in 50-over cricket brought him to the attention of the England selectors who included Gurney in the squads for the early season One-Day Internationals in 2014. He made his England debut against Scotland in Aberdeen and subsequently played in all five Internationals against Sri Lanka. Later in the year, Gurney played in four further Internationals, claiming a total of 11 wickets in his 10 starts, with a best of 4-55 against Sri Lanka at Lord’s. He also played in two T20 Internationals that summer against India and Sri Lanka and took three wickets.
Harry Gurney was at the heart of the Outlaws white ball double success of 2017. He claimed 13 wickets in his 11 matches in the Royal London One-Day Cup which culminated in Notts victory over Surrey at Lord’s. He was also ever-present throughout the Vitality T20 Blast as the Outlaws reached Finals Day at Edgbaston, where he enjoyed one of the best days of his career, taking 3-19 in semi-final against Hampshire, followed by 4-17 in the Final as Notts claimed the Trophy with a 22-run win over Birmingham Bears. Gurney’s T20 success was built on his skilled and intelligent death bowling, calmly delivering a mix of yorkers, slower balls, cutters and other variations. At the end of 2019, he had taken 115 wickets in 94 T20 matches for Notts, plus another 79 wickets in 58 List-A starts.
He began to ply his skills around the World in the top T20 franchise leagues in Australia, India, the Caribbean and Pakistan and he enjoyed a particularly successful 2019. He was part of the Melbourne Renegades side which won the Big Bash League, helped Notts to another T20 Finals Day and featured in the Barbados Tridents side which won the Caribbean Premier League title. He also enjoyed assignments with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and briefly for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League. Gurney was poised to make his mark for Trent Rockets in The Hundred when the inaugural edition of the new tournament in 2020 was cancelled.
In May 2021, Harry announced that a persistent shoulder injury, which had prevented him from playing at all in 2020, meant that he had decided to retire from from cricket after taking 614 all-format wickets during his career in the professional game. Mick Newell, who brought Gurney to Nottinghamshire ahead of the 2012 season, highlighted the left-armer’s achievements in both the red- and white-ball game:
“Harry has been a terrific, match winning, bowler for this club for a number of years,” he said.
Away from cricket, Gurney has a business partnership with Stuart Broad, owning two country pubs one of which, the Tap and Run in Upper Broughton, suffered a major fire in 2022 but was re-built and opened again for the summer of 2023.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 622