Brown set for second in Norfolk’s all-time list after landmark wicket
PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 August 2018
Norfolk captain Chris Brown will become the second-highest wicket-taker in the county’s history if – or perhaps when – he takes one wicket in the Minor Counties Championship match that starts at Manor Park tomorrow.
The former Lancashire off-spinner is already level with Tracey Moore – a seamer who played for Norfolk from 1959 to 1978, and passed away earlier this year – on 474 wickets and needs just one more to move clear into second place.
Brown will not overtake Michael Falcon, who took 690 wickets for Norfolk between 1907 and 1946, because he is retiring from county cricket at the end of the season. But his record of 500-plus Minor Counties Championship wickets overall – having also played a season with Cheshire – is unlikely to be broken in an era where sides play a maximum of seven matches in a season.
Brown, who turns 44 next Thursday, took his 500th wicket in the draw with Staffordshire at Manor Park earlier this week but his achievement went unnoticed. Brown thought he went into the match on 495 career wickets rather than 496.
“I’m going to continue playing club cricket but I’m 44 next week so this is going to be my last season playing Minor Counties,” Brown said ahead of the match against Hertfordshire.
“I’m Norfolk’s leading wicket-taker in three day cricket and I will go ahead of Tracey Moore if I get one more wicket. It’s a record that I am very proud of.”
Brown moved to Norfolk in 2001 and has become a much-respected figure in the county playing club cricket for Horsford, coaching Norfolk’s youth teams and at Gresham’s School.
“When I first started playing they didn’t have the rule that restricts counties to just one player who has played over 40 first-class matches,” Brown added.
“So when I joined Norfolk in 2001 we had Paul Newman and Steve Goldsmith.
“There are a lot more younger players now which is a good thing for developing players and developing the game.”
“The standard varies on availability of players but we have just finished a very tough-fought match with Staffordshire who had Kadeer Ali and Alex Mellor of Warwickshire, so that was a good test for us.”
Although Brown is very much the elder statesman in Norfolk’s team he has been happy to pass on his experience to the younger players, many of whom he has coached.
“In our first Championship match of the season against Lincolnshire we had a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old in the side. I’ve coached both of them, so we’ve given opportunities to lads who have done well in our age groups,” he said.
“Callum Metcalf, who got runs and wickets on debut, is now on the Nottinghamshire Academy and Will Rogers, who is the son of Carl who played a lot of cricket for Norfolk, got runs against Staffordshire.
“They have come through the Emerging Players Programme. As I am performance manager of the Norfolk Cricket Board I oversee players from under-10 all the way to the first team.
“Someone said the other day that apart from Tom New and Ben France I had coached all the lads that played for Norfolk through the age groups.
“Playing alongside them means that I can pass on some of my knowledge and experience.”