‘It’s the friendships I’ll miss’, says Chris Read after the Nottinghamshire wicket-keeper retires


Chris Read has left his cricket career behind with trophies won, records broken and adulation earned from every Nottinghamshire supporter.

However, the 39-year-old says it is not the England caps he will miss in retirement. Nor is it the personal success, or even the glory of lifting silverware, but rather the camaraderie of the dressing room.

Read is recognised as one of the best glovemen in the history of the game and will go down as a Notts legend.

Now, after 19 years with the club, he is preparing to swap the sanctuary of the home dressing at Trent Bridge for the director of cricket’s office at Uppingham School.

Chris Read hugs bowling coach Andy Pick after Notts win promotion in his final game

He said: “I certainly won’t miss the grind of training! Does anyone ever say that?

“For me what makes my time special – and there are many things – but firstly it’s the friendships I’ve made.

“It’s sharing the dressing room with a bunch of great lads from different backgrounds. Some were more talented than others, some worked harder.

“They all had different personalities. The dressing room is a bit of a haven, it’s a home from home.

“Everyone has their spots and their idiosyncrasies. The celebrations when you win, I’ll miss that.”

Read was named Notts captain in 2008 and led them to the County Championship in 2010, before bowing out with promotion back to Division One in his final season, a year when Notts won both limited overs trophies.

His first few years at the helm were relatively straightforward, but he admits it became more challenging as the team evolved.

Senior players moved on, some in cruel circumstances, such as James Taylor and Michael Lumb. Younger players have stepped into the squad more recently and Read has looked to aid their progress as the elder statesman.

Harry Finch of Sussex hits out while Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper Chris Read looks on during day four of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two match at Hove

“There’s always difficult times, normally when you’re not winning! In recent years, the transition the club has gone through have been the biggest challenge,” he said.

“I inherited a pretty strong team in 2008 with a stable core group of players. We had a strong and settled leadership group.

“That ran until 2010 or 2011. The performances tended to take care of themselves.

“In more recent times we’ve lost a lot of senior players. New players would come in. Some had success, some not so much.

“That’s a challenge in itself. When a player comes to the club with fanfare and then fails to deliver it’s a bit of a challenge.

“More recently we’ve had younger players coming like Brett Hutton and Billy Root doing exceptionally well. We’ve lost senior players like Michael Lumb, Greg Smith and myself.

“Helping to guide the club through that has been one of the bigger challenges.”

Chris Read departs after being dismissed for the final time at Trent Bridge

Read ended his career with 16,351 first-class runs. He passed the 15,000 mark for Notts with his match-saving century in his last match.

He played 52 times for England and holds the record for most dismissals by a Nottinghamshire wicket-keeper after overtaking Thomas Oates this season.

Read trained as hard as he had ever done, even in the final days of his career, after learning early in the piece that talent would only take him so far.

“I think I’ve been blessed with a certain amount of natural talent, which is always helpful. At the same time, I realised relatively early on that hard work beats everything else,” he said.

“I don’t care how talented you are, that ability to know how to get the best from yourself is one of the traits of high performing sportsmen.

“When you’re early in your career you can assist a player to find their way. You don’t tell them what to do.

“You don’t constantly throw ideas at them. As a player you find your way of succeeding.

“The coach’s role is to assist in bringing that out. Early on in my career maybe I didn’t work hard enough.

“No one gets everything right. The earlier you can realise you need to work and embrace what you do well, but have a good relationship with things you can do better, that’s important.”

Chris Read lifts the Royal London One Day Cup
Chris Read lifts the Royal London One Day Cup

Throughout his playing days Read played down the records, but now he is able to reflect, he says they might now mean a little more with his gloves hung up.

“I’ll probably look back and appreciate I took this many catches and scored this many runs,” he said.

“For most of my career I had absolutely no idea how many runs I’d got and how many catches. It’s only really been brought to light over the last year or so, when you’re approaching the end.

“There have been a few high-profile ones like getting to 1,000 dismissals and overtaking Thomas Oates’ record at Notts. They’re nice ones.”



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