Before embarking on a degree in Classics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Mark Allbrook already had ambitions for a cricketing career, and was scouted by Notts in his first year at the University. He joined Notts in his second year, but cannily kept his options open by taking a PGCE course that eventually led him into teaching, where he prospered.
Allbrook, born in Frimley, Surrey, on 15 November 1954, was an off break bowler and a right-hand tail end batsman. He had represented Cambridge University and the Combined Universities between 1975 and 78, including a tour of Australia and Singapore in 1979/80 with an Oxford and Cambridge mixed squad. He also played in one 'youth' test match for England Young Cricketers in 1974 and for the Kent Second XI in 1974 and 1975. He took 5 wickets in an innings on 2 occasions, with a best of 7 for 79 for Cambridge against Nottinghamshire.
Those figures may have influenced Notts to give him his opportunity and Allbrook made his debut in August 1976 in a County Championship game against Yorkshire at Bradford; he played 12 First-Class games for the county, his final outing also being against Yorkshire, at Harrogate in June 1980.
He scored just 42 runs with a top score of 13 and an average of 8.90; his bowling was more effective but not outstanding – 16 wickets at a rather high cost of 58.56.
He turned to teaching and has had a successful career at leading public schools, culminating in the Headship at Bloxham School in Norfolk, teaching Classics and, of course, cricket. He has been involved in the coaching and administration of national schools cricket since the 1980s
In 2015 Mark Allbrook was appointed chair of the Norwich Diocesan Board of Education.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 476