Following the departures of the left-arm seamers Luke Wood and Mark Footitt and the decision by Harry Gurney to go on a “white-ball” only deal, Notts filled a void when in 2020 they signed former Hampshire and Middlesex left-arm paceman Tom Barber on a one-year deal – none of the parties then aware quite what a strange year that would be.
Barber was identified as a promising fast-bowling talent at a young age and had previously spent time working with Notts new Assistant Coach Kevin Shine on the ECB’s pace bowling programme. He had attracted many admirers due to his ability to bowl genuinely fast - he once fractured the thumb of Eoin Morgan in the nets - and bowled the fastest recorded delivery at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough, at 97mph.
Having started at Parley CC in Dorset, Barber clocked up six Under-19 ODI appearances for England in 2013, taking eight wickets @34.12. He played for the Hampshire Academy in the Southern Premier League and was given opportunities with Hampshire Second XI. Subsequently awarded a scholarship contract with Hampshire for 201, he made his Hampshire debut against Sri Lanka ‘A’ in a List A match in August of the same year. He went on to make his 'competitive' debut for Hampshire just a week later in a Royal London 50-over match against Yorkshire at The Ageas Bowl, taking the wickets of Kane Williamson and Andrew Gale with successive deliveries. These were his only appearances for Hampshire.
He appeared for Clevedon CC in the West of England Premier League in 2016 and made five Minor County Championship appearances for his native Dorset in the same summer. He followed this up at the start of 2017 by appearing in three Minor Counties Trophy matches for Dorset and two Second XI Trophy matches and one Second XI championship match for the MCC Young Cricketers. He was then signed by Middlesex for the rest of that season. He played in two T20 Blast games during the summer. Barber was selected to play for The South v The North in the ECB’s 50-over representative matches in Barbados in March 2018. He went on to take career-best figures of 4-28 later that summer in a Vitality Blast encounter versus Sussex at Lord’s.
Prior to joining Notts, he had appeared in two First-Class games, in April and May 2018, failing to take a wicket in either match. He made a solitary appearance for Middlesex in 2019, in a T20 encounter versus Hampshire at Lord’s, dismissing James Vince. In seven List-A games he took nine wickets @35.77, with a best of 3-62 v Australians at Lord’s in 2018. He has 11 wickets @32.90 in 10 T20 appearances.
Barber’s delayed first appearance for Nottinghamshire came in the first round of the Bob Willis Trophy games, a home match against local rivals Derbyshire. He took two wickets in Derbyshire’s first innings and scored nought not out in each Notts innings as the home side subsided to a three-wicket defeat.
Tom Barber's contract was retained for a further year at the end of the 2020 season.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 660