Batsman Nirmal Nanan played 64 times in his 10 years with Nottinghamshire without ever establishing himself in the First Eleven. Born in Preysal, Trinidad on 19 August 1951, his appearances were restricted by the complex regulations regarding overseas born players in English cricket during the 1970s. He performed well in Second Eleven cricket but when he did make the senior side his scores did little to prompt his regular selection.
Nanan played for Trinidad and Tobago Schools and Under-19 sides in the 1969/70 season and made his First-Class debut in May 1970 in Trinidad’s regional Beaumont Cup competition. During the English summer, he toured England with West Indies Young Cricketers and had his first experience of playing at Trent Bridge in a fixture against the National Association of Young Cricketers.
In 1971, several new players were added to the Trent Bridge staff. Nanan was amongst a group which included Bill Taylor, Derek Randall, Phil Wilkinson, ‘Dusty’ Hare and Boya Sahadeo. He played regularly in the Second Eleven and after making his mark with several significant early season contributions, was handed his First-Class debut for Nottinghamshire against Oxford University. He had a good all-round match against the students, with a score of 72 with the bat and a return of 3-12, on one of the rare occasions he was asked to bowl his leg breaks.
After this single appearance in 1971, Nanan appeared more frequently in the following season, playing in seven First-Class and eight List-A matches, making one fifty. Probably his most significant contribution that season was in the field in his first Championship appearance when he took an outfield catch to dismiss Somerset captain Brian Close to help Barry Stead complete a hat-trick. With the Seconds, he was part of the side which won the Second XI Championship in 1972 and was second highest run scorer with 666 runs.
Nanan played 12 First-Class games for the County in 1976 but in other seasons he appeared only occasionally. He continued to play regularly in the Seconds; he ultimately played more than 100 times at that level and consistently performed well, amassing over 1,000 runs in 1977 and 1978.
His final games were in 1980 and at the time he left Trent Bridge he had played in 32 games in each form of cricket. In List-A, he scored 472 runs, with two fifties. His highest score of 93 came in a Benson & Hedges Cup match against Derbyshire, his final game for the County. In First-Class cricket, his return was 846 runs at an average of just under 16 plus seven wickets. He recorded three fifties, all of which were made against Oxford University and his performances with both bat and ball in his debut match in 1971 remained his best returns for Nottinghamshire.
Nirmal Nanan died back home in Trinidad on 4 December 2021, just a few months after his 70th birthday. A former friend and team-mate, Nottinghamshire President 'Basher' Hassan payed tribute to Nanan at a pre-Christmas event for the Trent Bridge Heritage volunteers.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 460