Born on 12 June 1964 in Helensburgh, Scotland, Peter Mark Such began his long career in the English game with Nottinghamshire. Such attended Lantern Lane Primary School and Harry Carlton Comprehensive School in East Leake after his family moved south. He excelled at cricket during his youth and played for County age group teams before progressing into the Colts side and the Notts Second eleven.
Off-spinner Such was barely 18 years old when he was first drafted into Nottinghamshire’s County Championship side, making his debut at Lord’s against Middlesex in mid-July 1982. He was selected for seven further First-Class matches that summer, taking a total of 25 wickets. Against Gloucestershire in just his third match, he claimed a first five-wicket haul, spinning the County to victory in tandem with Eddie Hemmings.
In 1983, the highly-rated Such was selected to play for England Young Cricketers against Australia Young Cricketers in three Under-19 Tests and a single One-Day International. He had the honour of making his first appearance at this level at his home ground Trent Bridge and was in good company, making his debut in the First Test alongside Nottinghamshire team-mate Andy Pick. A third Notts’ man, Paul Johnson, joined the pair for the final two Tests of the series. Such impressed with 16 wickets in the three Tests, including 7-72 in the final match at Chelmsford.
With Nottinghamshire, Such started in 10 First Class matches in 1983 and made the first of his six List-A appearances for the County. He played fairly regularly during the following two seasons but in 1986 he had fewer opportunities and decided to move counties to Leicestershire. His five seasons at Trent Bridge had seen Such start in 52 First-Class matches and take 138 wickets. His best analysis for Notts came in 1983 with 6-123 against Kent.
Three seasons were spent at Grace Road before Such moved on again, this time to Essex. His career blossomed there and he played a major part as Essex enjoyed a run of success in the 1990s. He was part of the sides which claimed the County Championship in 1991 and 1992, the NatWest Trophy in 1997 and the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1998.
In Championship cricket, he enjoyed a particularly prolific season in 1993 and was selected by England for the home Ashes series. He made an immediate impact, taking eight wickets in his first Test at Old Trafford, which included 6-67 in Australia’s first innings. Eight wickets on debut would usually lead to a player taking all the plaudits but instead everyone was talking about another spinner on show. That man was Australian great Shane Warne as this was the Test when he also took eight wickets and delivered the ‘ball of the century’ to dismiss Mike Gatting.
Such played in eight home Tests in 1993 and 1994 before waiting until the winter of 1998/99 for his next two Tests in Australia. The last of his 11 Tests came the following summer against New Zealand, leaving him with 37 career Test victims.
Peter Such ended his playing career in 2001 after 20 seasons and over 500 games and 1,000 wickets in First-Class and List-A cricket. Upon retirement, he went into coaching and enjoyed a second successful career in the game. He launched and directed the Essex Academy, worked with England age group squads and for 10 years was the National Lead Spin Bowling Coach with the ECB.