The saying goes there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes. I can’t help but feel this saying should be amended to include Chris Read batting and keeping wicket for Nottinghamshire and yesterday saw news that re-enforces this. Yesterday Nottinghamshire announced that Read had signed a one year contract extension, which will see him behind the stumps at Trent Bridge until the end of the 2017 season.
Read made his debut way back in 1998 and has gone on to make over 650 appearances for the club, and with over 15,000 runs and over 1000 dismissals it is clear to see why Notts were keen to tie him down for another year.
At the ripe old age of 37, Read is not slowing down either. With the 2016 season just a few weeks old Read, has already amassed 329 runs at an average of 47 and collected 18 dismissals, vital for Notts, and I’m happy to add my Fantasy Cricket team, of which Read has been a main stay for many years.
It was clearly an easy decision for Read, saying yesterday: “For me, these decisions about contracts are all about how I’m feeling fitness-wise and whether I’m performing at a high level.
“I still love the game, I love playing for Nottinghamshire and I’m not thinking about retirement,” he added, “I’m happy with where my game is, I’m focused on us having a successful season and I’m looking forward to finishing my career here at Notts.”
Although mentioning retirement Notts fans will be hoping that, whilst Read’s form continues to be as impressive as it is, that a “mention” is all it is and not solid thought.
This is a hope shared by Mick Newell, the Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket, who said the following on the news of Read’s contract extension: “Chris is a very, very important player for us, not least because his wicketkeeping is of the highest quality and he continually gets us out of trouble with the bat.
“He is also our leader; he is an inspiration to the team and I hope he continues to play for a few more years.
“You only have to look at the way our form improved after we welcomed him back from injury last season to know what an important player he is for us, across all formats of the game.”
I echo Newell’s hopes that Read will play on beyond 2017. I find checking the cricket scores and seeing Chris Read has scored runs, taken catches and made stumpings, somewhat comforting. It is a constant in my life, since I started following cricket seriously around the same time that Read made his debut back in 1998.
Many things have changed in cricket over those years: the number of divisions in The County Championship; the creation of T20 Cricket; 40, 45, 50 and 60 over cricket in the one day game but the quality and excellence of Christopher Mark Wells Read has remained constant, and I look forward to watching him for hopefully many years to come.