DateLine: 25th October 2005
Paul Aldred entered the professional game at the relatively late age of 26, though his youthful appearance and medium paced bowling allowed him to enjoy 8 seasons with Derbyshire. An early example of his commitment came at the Oval in 1996, when Aldred survived for 87 minutes at no.11 with a damaged wrist to secure a draw against Surrey from a semeingly doomed position. Despite his former skipper Dean Jones feeling that he could become a specialist one-day bowler, Aldred’s annus mirabilis came with the red ball in 1999, when in the space of 5 weeks he recorded new career best bowling analysis on 4 separate occasions, including 13 wickets in one match against a strong Lancashire line up, and he ended the season with 50 wickets at the impressive average of 21.26. His next best season haul was just 17 in 2000, and this was obviously a disapointment after the preceding year. As Aldred advanced into his 30’s, so the injuries increased and he was released after playing little part in the 2002 season. Aldred’s best ever batting came in 1997, when he took advantage of a flat Chesterfield pitch to make 83, his only First-class half century. Derbyshire may have further reason to thank Aldred in future, as it was him who first spotted and recommended the promising young seamer Wayne White to the Peakites.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)