Nicholas Verity Knight
November 28, 1969, Watford, Hertfordshire
Left hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Felsted School; Loughborough University
There are two Nick Knights. One is a flamboyant left-handed opener for England's one-day side, who exploits fielding restrictions in the first 15 overs by slapping the ball over mid-on and carving it through point. The other is a tentative Test player, fallible outside off stump and to the straight, full-length delivery when he plays round his front pad and falls away to the off side. His two best Test innings (113 v Pakistan, Headingley in 1996, and 96 in the flippin'-murdered-'em draw v Zimbabwe at Bulawayo in 1996-97) seemed to set him up, but he was dropped after a poor series in New Zealand that winter, and has won only five more caps, four of them in 2000. Knight was harshly left out of the World Cup team in 1999, but seemed set to make amends in 2003 after several impressive displays in the VB Series, which led seasoned Australian observers to wonder why on earth he wasn't a Test regular. But after England's failure in the World Cup, he called time on his international one-day career - but not Tests - to enable him to concentrate on leading Warwickshire. Knight, who began his career at Essex but moved to Warwickshire in 1995, is a world-class fielder - whether at third slip, in the gully, at short midwicket or as a cover sweeper - and an outgoing, hard-to-suppress team man. He announced his intention to retire at the end of 2006, and soon after was unveilled as the latest member of Sky Sports' commentary team.
Lawrence Booth April 2007
Batting & Fielding