The sequence of events that led to MacGill’s appearance for Notts in 2002 are something of a mirror of his representative career. In the shadow of Shane Warne, MacGill, a spinner of rare craft and technique, was hardly ever the automatic first choice his talents merited for his country and thus it proved in his foray into the County game.
Chris Cairns was signed as Notts’ overseas player but was committed to New Zealand for the first three weeks of the English season. Manager Clive Rice signed up Lance Klusener to fill in for those three weeks, which would have been appeared satisfactory but within a few days of that signing, Cairns broke down and had to abandon any plans of playing for Notts during 2002.
It was now the first week of April. Half a dozen Test stars were signalled in the press as possible replacements for Cairns. On April 5, it was announced that Nicky Boje would be Notts’ stint. However, Boje would not be available for most of August and September as he would be involved in two separate One-day Series for South Africa in Morocco and Sri Lanka.
This led to more head scratching. Rice then signed MacGill to be Notts’ third overseas man.
Rice did not see how MacGill flourished at Trent Bridge because, in late June, he was replaced as Director of Cricket by Mick Newell.
Stuart MacGill made his Notts First-Class debut at Kidderminster on 8 August – most eyes however were at Trent Bridge, where the Test against India was about to begin.
Those eyes soon switched to Worcestershire, when MacGill, almost straight off the plane, took five wickets in the first innings, dismissing Worcestershire for 201. On his debut at Trent Bridge the following week, MacGill created a new record, taking 14 wickets against Middlesex, who tumbled to an innings defeat. Another eight wickets in the next game brought another innings victory, which put Notts in place for possible promotion.
The rest of the story is well remembered. Notts clinched third place and MacGill had taken 40 wickets in six matches.
In 2003, MacGill was signed as the principal overseas Notts player but again, due to international commitments, the county used two other stand-ins, Elworthy and Vettori. MacGill appeared in 11 of the 16 first-class games, taking 42 wickets at 33.52 runs each.
In his last summer with Notts, he was not quite so successful taking 40 wickets at 35.20 runs each in 15 matches. Conversely however, his record in the 45-over League improved – 25 wickets at 19, against 17 at 24 in 2003.
Stuart Charles Glyndwr MacGill eventually played 44 times for his country at Test level with an impressive 208 wickets, including 12 ‘five-fers’ and twice taking 10 wickets in a match. Successive injuries led to his retirement from the game after the second Test against the West Indies in 2008.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 571