Darren John Pattinson
August 02, 1979, Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
After years of toiling away for Dandenong in Melbourne's club cricket, higher honours appeared to have permanently eluded Darren Pattinson until, in July 2008, he was sensationally plucked from obscurity to make his Test debut for England - the country of his birth - against South Africa at Headingley.
It was a bewilderingly rapid promotion for a man who had played only 11 first-class matches in his entire career, and who at the time was only two weeks shy of his 29th birthday. That weekend, he had been planning to take his kids to Alton Towers but an injury to Ryan Sidebottom - and doubts about the effectiveness of Matthew Hoggard - led England's selectors to trawl the shires for a tall and accurate new-ball bowler who could be relied upon to hit the deck and extract some swing at a good pace. Pattinson's season stats, 29 wickets at 20.86 for Nottinghamshire, brooked no argument, although the fact that he had not been a permanent resident in England since leaving his hometown of Grimsby at the age of six might have counted against him.
As it turned out, he performed credibly with 2 for 95 in South Africa's first innings, but England's ten-wicket drubbing meant he vanished from view almost as quickly as he had risen in the first place. That rise had begun in November 2006 when a spate of injuries struck down Victoria's frontline fast bowlers. At 27, the uncontracted Pattinson made his Pura Cup, limited-overs and Twenty20 debuts, and his job as a roof-tiler took a backseat as he claimed 4 for 87 in his maiden first-class match against South Australia. His efforts earned him a state contract for 2007-08, and though he was only used twice in Pura Cup games in his second season, Pattinson was recommended to Nottinghamshire by his colleague, David Hussey.
Pattinson became the spearhead of the Nottinghamshire attack, helping them win the County Championship in 2010 but suffered injury problems in 2011 and missed the first two months of the 2012 season as he recuperated from a stress fracture of the back. Although he played in the Twenty20 and CB40 competitions, he did not make a first-class appearance in 2012 and ended his five-year association with Nottinghamshire by deciding to play in Australia as a domestic player, returning to resume his career with Victoria alongside his brother, James. When the latter made his Test match debut for Australia in December 2011 it meant that for the first time in more than a century two brothers had represented different countries in Tests.
Darren developed into an effective bowler in Twenty20 cricket. His haul of 23 wickets in 16 matches in the 2011 English season was the most by a Nottinghamshire bowler in a single season and included figures of 5 for 25 against Warwickshire.
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