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 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 represented New Zealand in all their matches in 1996 World Cup in India and Pakistan.