Standing 6ft 10ins tall, William Ingleby Jefferson was certainly the tallest player in county cricket in his playing days and only two other players in the English game have been reckoned of similar height (the records do vary).

His was a wide ranging career – born in Derbyshire, educated at Durham, playing for Essex, Notts and Leicestershire, and a tour to Bangladesh with England A – before a rare hip condition brought a largely unfulfilled promise to an early end. An intelligent, confident cricketer, Jefferson studied at Durham University and was part of the first wave of players on the UCCE system in 2001. He made his first-class debut for British Universities against the touring Zimbabweans in 2000.

Director of Cricket Mick Newell had snapped up the giant opener from Essex on a three-year contract in 2007, aware that Jefferson presented a real problem for bowlers. Notts supporters knew that well from his visits to Trent Bridge in 2004, when he scored three separate centuries, and had high hopes for their new opener.

His last season with Essex was blighted by a freak injury to his wrist after he accidentally pushed his hand through a bathroom window and damaged tendons. He returned to full fitness in time for the 2007 pre-season only to pull a hamstring, an injury which would trouble him throughout the summer.

He eventually made his Notts debut in June against Lancashire in the Friends Provident Trophy, scoring an unbeaten 60, and also showed some glimpses of his ability in the Twenty20 Cup and NatWest Pro40.

Jefferson was a right-handed opening batsman and a reliable slip fielder. He was born into a cricketing family; his father Richard played for Surrey, while his grandfather Julian played first-class cricket in the 1920s for services teams.

Jefferson had his contract terminated by Nottinghamshire in September 2009 but  marked a return to form by scoring 112 for Leicestershire in the first match of the 2011 county season; his finest moment for his third county was probably to secure their place in the T20 Final that year by smashing three boundaries in the 'super over' needed, after their semi-final against Lancashire ended in a tie.

April 2020