Veteran Samit Patel is aiming for more T20 success

Samit Patel’s memories of his first Twenty20 match for Nottinghamshire are understandably a little hazy.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 4:13 pm

After all, the veteran Nottinghamshire all-rounder is about to embark on his 20th consecutive season in what is now the Vitality Blast - one of only four participants in the inaugural season back in 2003 who are still playing.

“My first-ever T20 was against Yorkshire at Headingley,” he says, forgetting that he’d actually made his debut in the competition against Leicestershire at Trent Bridge three days earlier.

In fact, the Yorkshire match was the first in which he had been asked to bowl his left-arm spin, so he was half right.

Samit Patel bats during the Vitality T20 Blast match between Birmingham Bears and Notts Outlaws at Edgbaston last summer.

Given what happened, it is hardly surprising that it sticks in the memory for the former Worksop College player, who these days also turns out for Langley Mill United in the Derbyshire Premier League.

“The first ball was a no-ball and got hit for six,” he recalls, ruefully. “The second one went for six too. So I had gone for 14 from one ball. It didn’t go down too well.

“I was still at school and it was on Sky, so everyone was watching - and that happens. On the basis of that, who would have thought I’d still be playing now?”

Yet Nottinghamshire didn’t hold it against him.

The opening match of the 2022 Vitality Blast programme against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge on 27 May is set to be Patel’s 207th in an Outlaws shirt.

It took him until his fifth match to claim a first wicket, but since then there has been no looking back and he goes into the new campaign with 181 wickets for the county at a highly respectable 26.30.

He won 18 England caps in the format as well, in addition to his 36 one-day internationals and six Test match appearances.

Now a T20 specialist playing around the world, last season he became the first English player to complete the double of 250 wickets and 5000 runs in domestic matches in the format.

“I’m hugely proud of my record,” Patel said. “If there is a slight disappointment it is that I’ve never scored a T20 hundred.”

In his bowling, he can boast of an achievement unparalleled in Blast history, with his 4-1-4-3 against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge entering the record books.