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Full name Matthew James Nicholson
Born October 2, 1974, St Leonards, Sydney, New South Wales
Current age 39 years 299 days
Major teams Australia, New South Wales, Northamptonshire, Surrey, Western Australia
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Height 1.97 m
|Only Test||Australia v England at Melbourne, Dec 26-29, 1998 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Surrey v Sussex at The Oval, Aug 20-23, 2008 scorecard|
|List A debut||1998/99|
|Last List A||Surrey v Kent at The Oval, Sep 2, 2008 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||New South Wales v Queensland at Sydney, Jan 8, 2006 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Surrey v Essex at The Oval, Jun 11, 2008 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|1/62, 2||Surrey||v Kent||The Oval||2 Sep 2008||LA|
|0, 1/45, 27, 1/11||Surrey||v Sussex||The Oval||20 Aug 2008||FC|
|15, 2/20||Surrey||v Northants||The Oval||17 Aug 2008||LA|
|0/61, 43||Surrey||v Somerset||Taunton||12 Aug 2008||FC|
|1/14||Surrey||v Essex||Chelmsford||5 Aug 2008||LA|
|9*, 0/24||Surrey||v Derbyshire||Chesterfield||3 Aug 2008||LA|
|25, 1/69||Surrey||v Yorkshire||Leeds||30 Jul 2008||FC|
|38, 3/44, 1/48||Surrey||v Notts||Nottingham||11 Jul 2008||FC|
|1/37, 10||Surr 2nd XI||v Hants 2nd XI||Purley||4 Jul 2008||Other OD|
|7, 1/22||Surrey||v Essex||The Oval||11 Jun 2008||T20|
A right-arm fast bowler and capable lower-order batsman, Matthew Nicholson learned his cricket in New South Wales, where he was a schoolboy star and the country's under-19 player of the year in 1992-93. During those years he developed what was a lilting run-up, a whippy, open-chested action, and a tendency to generate disarming bounce from his 6'6" height. But, for all of his early successes, Nicholson found it difficult to break into a strong New South Wales side and decided he would be better served by a shift to Western Australia. Initially, the relocation brought no change in fortune, but he made his first-class debut against West Indies in 1996-97 and illustrated substantial promise, only to miss the entire 1997-98 season with chronic fatigue syndrome, which was an after-effect of glandular fever. He was eventually able to control the disease through a diet free of alcohol, dairy and meat products and following 18 months on the sidelines signalled his return with a sizzling performance against England at the start of 1998-99. He supplemented 7 for 77 in the first innings with a maiden half-century, and subsequent success in the Sheffield Shield resulted in a surprise call-up to the Australian team for the fourth Test at Melbourne.
He claimed four wickets for the match after taking 3 for 56 in the second innings, but did not hold his place. A combination of further injuries and an occasional tendency to bowl with too much width ensured the 1999 tour of Zimbabwe was his last with the senior national team. A switch back to New South Wales came in 2003-04 and he picked up 39 Pura Cup wickets and Australia A selection. The following season he formed a brutal combination with Nathan Bracken and Stuart Clark, adding 47 first-class victims, including seven in the Pura Cup final victory over Queensland. A quieter 2005-06 followed and he was cut for the ING Cup final before proving he was still potent with 46 wickets at 31.97 to top Northamptonshire's tally for the season. It was a strong English summer all-round for Nicholson, who made 454 runs and belted 106 from 93 balls against Derbyshire. He remained a valuable performer for the Blues, including stints as captain, until his retirement in 2007-08, missing a home farewell in the Pura Cup final victory when the national bowlers returned. His final first-class action came with a second season at Surrey, but he left the county early, returning to Australia to become a New South Wales selector.
Cricinfo staff September 2008
First-class Debut: Western Australia v West Indians at Perth, 1996/97
List A Debut: Australia 'A' v Sri Lankans at Perth, 1998/99
Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy 1994 to 1995
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