In November 2016, Hameed seemed to be destined for a long Test career. The then Lancashire CCC 19 year-old made his England Test debut, opening the innings with Alastair Cook at Rajkot and scoring 31 and 82. He followed it up with innings of 13 and 25 at Visakhapatnam and 9 and 59 not out at Mohali before he was ruled out of the series because of a finger injury. He was dubbed the “Baby Boycott” as he appeared to have the ability to bat time and grind down bowling attacks. However, Hameed suffered a catastrophic loss of form, averaging 9.70 in 17 innings in the 2018 championship season and although recovering somewhat to score 341 championship runs @28.41 in 2019 including an innings of 117 in the opening game of the season at Lord’s, he was released by Lancashire at the end of the season.
Hameed signed a two-year contract with Notts and waited patiently for his first opportunity with his new county. The right-hand bat and occasional leg-spinner said “I’m very excited to be joining Nottinghamshire and playing my cricket at Trent Bridge. I’ve enjoyed myself every time I’ve played at this great venue and hope to add to some good memories there. This is a new chapter in both my life and career and I’m full of excitement to start working with my new teammates and helping get Notts back up to Division One where they belong.”
Bolton-born Hameed had scored 2,907 runs @30.60 in 63 First-Class matches with five tons prior to signing for Notts. In 2016 he became the fifth-youngest batsman to chalk up 1,000 in a season. The opener lifted Lancashire’s Player of the Season award in the same summer. He had made his First-Class debut versus Glamorgan at Old Trafford in 2015. Hameed who has never appeared in T20 cricket, had scored 556 runs @34.75 in 19 List A contests.
Peter Moores, who watched Hameed defy a Notts bowling line-up including Stuart Broad and Imran Tahir with a six-hour vigil career best of 122 at Trent Bridge in 2016, believes the former England Under-19s opener’s approach is exactly what his side needs.
“We’ve got exciting stroke players in our red-ball team, but it’s really important that we find a way to bat longer. Haseeb’s approach is patient, methodical and based on crease occupation. They’re old-fashioned virtues in many ways, but they’re completely relevant to the modern-day game and exactly what we need to help us get better.”
Notts fans had to rely on a much-improved live feed from Trent Bridge to see if the coach’s optimism was well-founded when the inter-county competition introduced in the Covid-hit summer of 2020 got under way. In a home Bob Willis Trophy debut against local rivals Derbyshire, Hameed showed his potential with two half-centuries – 68 in the first innings, 52 in the second – as Notts slipped to a disappointing defeat.
Haseeb Hameed signed a contract extension that will keep him at Trent Bridge until 2022.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 661