Mark Anant Wagh
October 20, 1976, Birmingham, Warwickshire
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
King Edward's School, Birmingham. Oxford University
A patient, wristy batsman and a useful offspinner, Mark Wagh made his debut for Warwickshire, the county of his birth, in 1998. Over the next six years he became one of the county's most consistent batsmen, twice scoring over 1,000 runs in a first-class season. Wagh was banned from bowling by the ECB in 2000 after being called for throwing towards the end of the season, but came back well in 2001 after remodelling his action over the winter. He was the surprise match-winner in Warwickshire's game against Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston, taking three wickets in his first two overs to set up a 139-run victory.
But it is batting that was always his main strength, and in the same season he smashed a mammoth 315, which at the time was the second highest score (after Brian Lara's 501*) by a Warwickshire batsman. Just four days after that effort, he agreed the terms for a three-year extension to his county contract, and later in the year went on the ECB National Academy tour to Australia.
In 2004 he was rewarded for his outstanding form in domestic cricket with a call-up to England's preliminary squad for the ICC Champions Trophy. But he did not push on from that point and suffered a serious run of injuries, missing large chunks of cricket and preventing him from bowling. He was dropped from the first-team at the start of the 2006 season, and although he soon re-established himself he did not score the runs to suggest a turning point had been reached in his career and it was not unduly surprising when Warwickshire agreed to release him from his contact so he could move to Nottinghamshire.
He enjoyed something of a renaissance at Trent Bridge, averaging 56.95 in his first season there, and passed 1,000 Championship runs in two of his four full summers with the county, his leanest spell coming in 2009 when he scored only 814 runs but still managed three centuries. Wagh called time on his professional playing career at the start of the 2011 season. He had originally planned to bow out in August to pursue a career in law but decided to make an early exit to focus on his new path.
CricInfo staff June 2011
Batting & Fielding