Leicestershire v Somerset, Final, Friends Life t20, Edgbaston August 28, 2011

Nixon revels in ending 'written in the stars'


It was Steve Waugh who said, famously, that there are no fairytales in sport, but Leicestershire veteran Paul Nixon was granted a dream finale as he ended his time in English county cricket with a Twenty20 win that was "written in the stars".

"It's been a great journey," Nixon said, whose county career has now spanned four decades. "Thankfully today it was written in the stars. The timing was right, everything was right."

Nixon, 40, announced his retirement at the beginning of this month, suggesting that he would finish after Leicestershire's Friends Life t20 quarter-final against Kent, ending a 22-year long first-class career.

"The quarter-final was very special for me," he said. "I felt like that was my send-off and that mentally, this was business time. That day was for me, this was for everybody else. This was for Leicestershire as a club."

In a jovial post-match press conference, Nixon made special mention of the team ethic that he believed had taken Leicestershire this far. "Every single person in our team has won a game for us in this competition," he said. "Andrew McDonald has been world class all the way through. Abdul Razzaq is a born winner. Claude Henderson is in a different class. He should've played 130 Tests for South Africa. James Taylor should have been playing for England weeks ago.

"I know all the players at Leicestershire inside out but I held [Man of the Match] Joshua Cobb in my arms when he was born, which is scary. Luckily I didn't drop him but I did hurt his head when I took the bails off."

Nixon also made a vital contribution of his own in Leicestershire's 18-run win over Somerset - dismissing the dangerous Kieron Pollard with a salmon leap of a catch that defied the years. "Mr. Pollard is a serious player. I was at Trent Bridge when he hit one over the stand. I've never seen a six like it. To catch him was a nice moment.

"But we have a small squad so everybody has to come to the party and that's what we've done." Tellingly, however, it was Nixon's name that Leicestershire's fans chanted as the team was presented with the trophy on an autumnal evening in Birmingham.

While Nixon has played his last county match on English soil, he insisted he would make the trip to India for the Champions League Qualifier at the end of September, now that Leicestershire have qualified. "I'll be 100% there. My passport is about to run out so I might have to pay a bit to get a new one, but thats my first job Monday morning."

Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anver on August 29, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    What a memorable day for Nixon !! not only for the victory but also for the great catch he took that turned the game for them..........super effort NICO !! wish u all best for u'r future !!!!!

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    Thanks for the memories Nico. I was there, as a 16 year old on the pitch in front of the pavillion in '96 when we won the championship, and from that point on have been at some wonderful days out watching the perenial underdogs consistantly punching above their weight, winning the CC again in '98, who can forgot beating heavily fancied Surrey in 2004 and then following that up with victory over Notts in their own backyard in the rain in 2006 and all of this in the face of chronic management at boardroom level which saw us heamorage player after player. Throughout all of the off-field tumult there was one constant - Paul Nixon (apart from a two year holiday down south!) Nico is the last link to the Championship winning years and in seeing him finish it feels a little like the end of my youth! All the best for the future Paul, and thanks for all of those reverse sweeps!

  • Rob on August 28, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Good onya Paul! And deserved at that. One of country cricket's great leaves the field. I'm sure you have a very constructive contribution off the field. Hope to be seeing you there.

  • Jordan on August 28, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    Gupta, i'm not sure what your comment about Trescothick is supposed to mean but if you knew anything of county cricket you'd know he was a fantastic captain and outstanding cricketer. finishing second in all 3 competitions last season is unfortunate but certainly there is no shame in it, and so far we've come second in this years T20 competition, are in the semi finals of the other one day competition and are 3rd in the championship with a chance of victory still, so he can't be that bad. It's only a matter of time before we win a competition and it could be as soon as the next couple of weeks.

  • farhan amir on August 28, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    Best of luck for the champion league!! U deserve it Nixon.

  • Guruprasad on August 28, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    In the 2007 World Cup encounter between England and eventual finalists Sri Lanka, England found themselves in a hopeless situation in the chase. But Ravi Bopara and Paul Nixon fought hard and got England agonizingly close to victory. For cricketers fans outside of England, Paul Nixon's fighting qualities came to the fore on a world stage that day. One feels that Nixon should have been playing for England a bit earlier. Nevertheless, best wishes to him.

  • ankur on August 28, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    Well what can you expect when you have (s)trescothick leading you.......somerset have such a good team, and then they almost lose the sf and then they lose final after being in such comfortable position....

  • ian on August 28, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    A priceless moment in every sense - the T20 super-specialist mercenary snapped brilliantly by the Badger, as loyal a county cricketer as you could wish to find! This was indeed a just result, although you have to spare a thought for another made of the best and loyal to his last: Marcus Trescothick.

  • George on August 28, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    Great finals day & a great way to bow out for a man who has been a great servant of Leicestershire. Who says good guys never win?

  • Mainuddin on August 28, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    What a legend! And he was the real hero in the final. Had he not taken that miraculous catch to dismiss Kieron Pollard, Somerset would have won with an over or two to spare.

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