So far as Nottinghamshire supporters were concerned Drakes was rather an unknown quantity when he arrived at Trent Bridge. He had spent two seasons with Sussex with moderate success and had briefly represented West Indies in One Day Internationals in 1994/95. Clive Rice considered him the outstanding bowler in South Africa, where he was playing for the Border club, and he was therefore signed - for one season - on the cricket manger’s recommendation.

Drakes was quick to confirm Rice’s opinion and in his second Notts game (he did not bowl on debut), took 5 for 49 and 4 for 60. This form continued throughout the summer and he finished with 80 wickets. Only two bowlers took more First-Class wickets in 1999. Twice he captured 10 wickets in a match and five times five in an innings.

Also in that season, he took four wickets in four balls to help the Outlaws to a narrow victory over neighbours Derbyshire in a 45-over League match at Trent Bridge.  He clean bowled Phil DeFrietas, Adrian Rollins and Simon Lacey and had James Pyemont out lbw; to date this feat has not been repeated by a Notts player in any format.

Perhaps a little more could have been expected from him as a batsman, but that said he made a most favourable impression in Nottingham, earning one of three county caps (also capped by Sussex and Warwickshire).

Drakes had played a handful of ODIs when he joined Notts but it was not until 2002, when he has 33, that he secured a place in the West Indies test team, playing in 12 tests.  His most important Test innings, though not his highest, was arguably his unbeaten 27 which helped the West Indies cricket team to chase down a world-record target of 418, set by Australia.

An even more unlikely record is that he is one of only five batsmen in the history of First-Class cricket to be given out timed out, but he had a pretty good excuse - as he was not even in the country at the time! His flight to South Africa, where the match was being played, had been delayed by several hours.

After his cricketing career, Drakes was appointed coach of UAE national side for the 2008 Asia Cup and 2008 ACC Trophy Elite. In April 2015, Vasbert Drakes was name head coach of West Indies women's cricket team and led them to their first major title, winning the 2016 ICC Women's World Twenty20 in India.

November 2023

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 550

See Vasbert Drakes's career stats here