It was not until June 4, 1997 that Nathan Astle made his Championship debut for the county.

Nottinghamshire had original signed Mohammed Zahid, the Pakistan fast bowler, as the overseas player, but on his arrival in England it was discovered after extensive medical tests that he would be unfit to bowl during the summer. 

Astle was therefore brought in as a replacement and proved a most useful all-rounder - he topped the bowling averages and came second to Paul Johnson in the batting table.

Astle was born in Christchurch on September 15, 1971, made his first-class debut for Canterbury in 1991/92, his One Day Intentional debut for New Zealand in 1994/95 and his Test debut in 1995/96.

He will always be remembered for a blistering 222 against England at Christchurch in 2002 - he came to the crease with the Black Caps struggling at 119-3 in apparently hopeless pursuit of 430 runs.  Astle scored a world-record double ton in 153 balls, which included 28 fours and 11 sixes, the second century coming in (reports very) 32-33 balls and finished having taken New Zealand to an honourable defeat.