Signed in 2004 after 15 years with Kent, Mark Ealham showed all his know-how in his debut season to push Notts to double promotion, with almost 900 runs in the Championship at an average of 48 and some stunning performances in the Totesport League with bat and ball.

He earned instant hero status with Outlaws fans after a spectacular display of hitting in the Twenty20 Cup against Yorkshire, smashing 91 from just 35 balls on his way to collecting the inaugural Sky Sports Sixes trophy.

In 2005 his bowling took centre stage, as he collected 50 first-class wickets in a season for the first time in his career with his probing medium pace, before sealing the Championship title with the match-winning catch against his home county of Kent at Canterbury; during a Twenty20 Cup match against Durham he scored 45 off 17 balls including 34 runs in a single over.

Ealham scored 3,209 first-class runs at an average of 32.74 and took 218 first-class wickets at an average of 26.73. He played in eight Test Matches for England and 64 ODIs. In January 2000 when England played Zimbabwe in South Africa, Ealham took five wickets for only 15 runs - at the time the best bowling performance by an Englishman in a one-day international match. Even more remarkable is that all five wickets were LBWs. This is still a record in one-day international cricket.

Mark Ealham, son of Kent stalwart Alan, retired in September 2009, after 20 seasons in domestic cricket, to take charge of cricket at King's School, Canterbury.

April 2020