When Steve Sylvester had Chinmay Gupte of Oxford University caught by Andy Pick on 28 April 1994, he joined a select band of bowlers to take a wicket with his first ball in First-Class cricket for Notts, only the sixth player to achieve that particular feat. Remarkably, the player immediately before Sylvester on the list – Dave Callaghan – shares a more exclusive record with him; for each of them that early wicket was the only one that they took for Notts!
Sylvester, born 26 September 1968 in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, had played five First-Class matches for Middlesex before his Nottinghamshire debut at The Parks. In addition to that game, he represented Notts in an AXA League 50-over fixture against Lancashire at Old Trafford in which he made 1no and took no wickets. That was his second and final game for Notts.
He also played in Second Eleven competitions for both Middlesex and Nottinghamshire between 1991 and 1994. Those appearances apart, most of his cricket was played in the Minor Counties programme, initially with Buckinghamshire and latterly with Hertfordshire.
In his First-Class stint, Sylvester, who batted and bowled right-handed, scored six runs, all in one not-out innings, and took five wickets at 75.40; in seven List-A games he made even fewer runs, just 1, also not out, in his three innings; he took four wickets at 60.00.
If his time in cricket was not perhaps as memorable as that first delivery, he certainly made his mark in his chosen profession. He has Master's degree in psychology, and is a Chartered Psychologist; he was created an Associate Fellow within the British Psychological Society (BPS) for his contribution to psychology. Sylvester is a published author, with his first book Detox Your Ego appearing in 2016.
One further interesting note from that Oxford University game back in 1994 – among the University XI was one Chris Hollins, then studying at Keble College, who went on to become a noted sports commentator with the BBC and BT Sport but probably best known for winning the 2009 series of BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing with his dance partner Ola Jordan.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 528