Jonathan Neil Batty
April 18, 1974, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Right hand bat
Jonathan Batty's appointment to replace Adam Hollioake as Surrey captain at the end of 2003 was a surprising move by a county who had become identifiable for big-name signings and high-profile players. Batty was one of the non-household names at The Oval, a journeyman pro who had made the most of circumstances to forge a place in a winning side. But his tenure at the helm was to last only one season, as he was replaced by the higher profile Mark Butcher.
After graduating from Durham in 1993 he spent a season at Hampshire but was not retained and then trialed without success at Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Middlesex, Surrey and Somerset. He kept plugging away, playing for British Universities, Oxfordshire and Minor Counties, before he received offers for 1997 from Somerset and Surrey. He opted to be third-string keeper at The Oval behind Graham Kersey and Alec Stewart. Before Batty even arrived, Kersey was fatally injured in a car crash in Australia.
With Stewart mostly away on England duty, Batty became a regular. "Someone else's terrible misfortune worked in my favour," he said. Mark Butcher's absence led to him being asked to open, and between 2001 and 2003 his Championship average rocketed from 16 to 35 to 57 and he remained a solid presence in the top order with some holding the view he should have had a chance with England. It came as a surprise when, as part of Chris Adams' new regime at the club, Batty was released at the end of 2009 season.
He signed a three-year contract with Gloucestershire but has endured a miserable time at Bristol. His first season saw him score just 450 runs in the County Championship at 16.07. But he did achieve a personal best for catches in a season with 53 victims.
His 2011 season lasted just six matches and 179 runs before he was replaced as first-choice wicketkeeper by youngster Richard Coughtrie and the following summer was his last as he announced his retirement in September 2012.
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