Members and Notts fans gathered at the tea interval on day two of the last Championship game of 2023 to say farewell to a couple of crowd favourites - Jake Ball and Samit Patel.
An all-rounder who excels in all formats of the game, Samit Patel has scored more than 25,000 runs and taken in excess of 800 wickets for Nottinghamshire since making his debut as a teenager in 2002. He has been part of County Championship and domestic One-Day triumphs, appeared 60 times on the International stage for England and in recent years has successfully plied his trade in T20 franchise competitions around the globe.
Samit Rohit Patel was born in Leicester on 30 November 1984. A prodigious young talent, he came to cricketing prominence during his time at Worksop College, playing for England Under-15s and Under-17s and first appearing for Notts Seconds as a fourteen-year-old in 1999. Between 2002 and 2004 he played in 10 Tests and 24 One-Day Internationals at Under-19 level. His First-Class and List-A debuts for Nottinghamshire came in August 2002, with Patel still several months short of his eighteenth birthday. His career has coincided with the birth and development of T20 cricket and Patel played two matches in the format’s first English season of 2003.
A right-handed middle-order batsman and slow left-arm spinner, Patel established himself in the County side in all forms of cricket. He played in three matches during Championship winning season of 2005 and was an ever-present when the County claimed the title again in 2010. He played a key role in the last match of the season at Old Trafford when Notts claimed the necessary points in a dramatic final day. First, he hit a run-a-ball 96, including a 5th wicket partnership of 153 in 28 overs with Adam Voges, to help his side to maximum batting points, before taking the title winning catch when Shivnarine Chanderpaul edged an Andre Adams delivery into his hands at third slip.
Always a player for the big occasion, Patel was at the heart of Nottinghamshire’s successes in One-Day cricket. During Notts’ Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign in 2013, he scored 566 runs and took 15 wickets, with a Man of the Match performance of 3-21 from seven overs in the Lord’s Final as the Outlaws beat Glamorgan to claim their first One-Day Trophy in more than 20 years.
Patel made important contributions during Notts’ white ball double-winning season of 2017 and at the end of the season he was honoured by his peers with the Professional Cricketers Association's Most Valuable Player award. In the Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final at Chelmsford, he made 122 not out, and shared in a Notts List-A record 5th wicket partnership of 185 with Steven Mullaney, as the Outlaws chased down the formidable Essex score of 370. In the Lord’s Final, he claimed 3-51 in Notts triumph over Surrey. When Notts reached T20 Finals day later that year, Patel again made his mark. In the semi-final, he took the vital early wicket of the destructive Shahid Afridi and followed it in the Final with 64 not out and a crucial run-out to claim another Man of the Match Award as he helped the Outlaws lift the Trophy.
Patel also played some major County Championship innings in 2017 as Division 1 status was regained. He hit his highest First-Class score of 257 not out against Gloucestershire at Bristol in June and a week later he made 247 against Leicestershire at Trent Bridge, becoming the only Nottinghamshire batsman to record back-to-back double hundreds in the Championship. In red ball cricket his best bowling figures came back in 2011, with 7-68 and a match haul of 11 wickets against Hampshire at The Rose Bowl.
Samit Patel’s England career commenced in Edinburgh against Scotland in a One-Day International in August 2008. He remained in the side for the subsequent home series against South Africa and in the third match at The Oval took 5-41, his best figures in International cricket. In all, Patel played in 36 ODIs, taking 24 wickets and scoring 482 runs, with a best of 70 not out against India at Mohali in 2011/12. He played 18 T20s for England, winning his first cap in 2011. In the following winter, he made his Test Match debut for England, against Sri Lanka in Galle. In 2012/13, he played in three Tests against India before a final appearance against Pakistan in Sharjah in 2015/16. His six Tests all came away from home and yielded a total of 151 runs and seven wickets.
In recent years, Patel has played T20 franchise cricket in Bangladesh, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. In 2016/17, he reached the Final of the Bangladesh Premier League with Rajshahi Kings and the following season was part of the Islamabad United side which won the Pakistan Super League.
Samit Patel was Nottinghamshire’s longest serving player and has made almost 700 appearances for the County. He featured in First XI and white-ball cricket in the shortened 2020 season and was part of the winning Outlaws team in the Vitality Blast.
Indeed, in List-A cricket only two other Notts legends – Clive Rice and Richard Hadlee – can match Samit’s all-round performances, little wonder then that Director of Cricket Mick Newell called him "probably the best white-ball cricketer we've ever had".
Patel paid tribute to the support he had been given during his time with the club.
“It’s been a pleasure to call this place home for the last 22 years,” he said.
“Thank you to all the supporters, Mick, the club, family and friends – I can’t thank them all enough. The crowd have always been my 12th man, spurring me on in those crunch moments and we look forward to those Friday nights under the lights.”
It was announced in October 2023 that Samit was moving up the Brian Clough Way to take a two-year white-ball contract with near neighbours Derbyshire.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 568