Full name Mattheus Hendrik Wessels
Born November 12, 1985, Australia
Current age 30 years 197 days
Major teams Abahani Limited, Khulna Royal Bengals, Marylebone Cricket Club, Mid West Rhinos, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire 2nd XI
Playing role Middle-order batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Height 5 ft 11 in
Relation Father - KC Wessels
|First-class debut||Marylebone Cricket Club v West Indians at Arundel, Jul 13-15, 2004 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Hampshire v Nottinghamshire at Southampton, May 22-25, 2016 scorecard|
|List A debut||Denmark v Northamptonshire at Brondby, May 3, 2005 scorecard|
|Last List A||Surrey v Nottinghamshire at The Oval, Sep 7, 2015 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Northamptonshire v Gloucestershire at Milton Keynes, Jun 22, 2005 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Nottinghamshire v Warwickshire at Nottingham, May 20, 2016 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|72, 6||Notts||v Hampshire||Southampton||22 May 2016||FC|
|52||Notts||v Warwickshire||Nottingham||20 May 2016||T20|
|6, 0||Notts||v Warwickshire||Nottingham||15 May 2016||FC|
|0||Notts||v Middlesex||Lord's||8 May 2016||FC|
|12, 15||Notts||v Yorkshire||Nottingham||1 May 2016||FC|
|27, 16||Notts||v Lancashire||Manchester||17 Apr 2016||FC|
|81, 0||Notts||v Surrey||Nottingham||10 Apr 2016||FC|
|143||Notts||v Cambs MCCU||Cambridge||5 Apr 2016||FC|
|1, 0c/0s||Karachi Kngs||v Islamabad Un||Dubai (DSC)||20 Feb 2016||T20|
|3||Karachi Kngs||v Zalmi||Dubai (DSC)||17 Feb 2016||T20|
Riki Wessels, a batsman-wicketkeeper, is the son of the former Australia and South Africa player and former Northants coach Kepler Wessels. He was due to begin the 2016 season as an England-qualified player and with more than 3,500 runs across all formats for Nottinghamshire in the previous two seasons, he was bound to have his advocates. His arrival in county cricket did not pleased everyone. Controversially, Nottinghamshire had exploited a loophole to enable Wessels to join the county on an Entrepreneur Visa in April 2011. The rules were altered specifically to exclude sportsmen shortly afterwards.
Wessels is globally travelled, as professional cricketers go. He was born in Australia and grew up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, due to his father playing for the South Africa cricket team, having previously played for Australia when South Africa were banned from Test Cricket.
Cricket was not quite an automatic choice for Wessels jnr - he dabbled in hockey - but at 18 he made the decision to head for the UK. Unsurprisingly, he began his county career at Northants where his father coached, identifying himself as a player of promise after scoring a maiden first-class century in 2005 against Somerset.
Wessels had to be released by Northants at the end of 2009 when the ECB criteria on Kolpak qualification was tightened. He moved to Zimbabwe to play for the Mid West Rhinos, but was pursued by Nottinghamshire, who wanted a back-up wicketkeeper for Chris Read who could also add to their batting resources.
After modest first-class returns in 2011, when he averaged 20.21 from 10 matches, he enjoyed a much more successful 2012 season, particularly in first-class cricket, where he began in the middle order but later established himself as an opener. His aggregate of 905 runs was his biggest in England, as was his average of 45.25. His three first-class centuries included a career-best 199 against Sussex at Hove.
Although unable to match such standards the following year as Notts' perennial issues with their opening batting spots looked no closer to a solution, he bounced back in impressive style in the next two seasons, being named as Nottinghamshire's player of the year in 2014 after scoring 1,667 runs across all formats and extending that to 1,868 a year later, passing 1,000 Championship runs on each occasion and proving himself a dangerous top-order player in T20.
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