DateLine: 20th February 2007
Chris Read's talent was unearthed early he was a member of the England A team before he had played a first class game. Awarded the Denis Compton award in 1997 when he was just 19 Reads tidy wicket keeping ability has seen him shrug off challenges from notable stumpers including Geraint Jones. Making his Test debut against New Zealand at Edgbaston in 1999 Read gave an exemplary exhibition behind the stumps but unfortunately was chiefly remembered for ducking awkwardly under a Chris Cairns slower ball which disturbed his stumps. He made his ODI debut in South Africa in the winter and by this time he had also improved his batting. In the new millennium however Read lost his place but when Alec Stewart hung up his gloves in 2003 he won the race and performed immaculately in the West Indies in early 2004. Again however he lost his place to Jones ostensibly because the latter was a better batsman. Undaunted Read fought back going higher up in the batting order for Nottinghamshire. In July 2006 he scored a superb unbeaten 150 for England A against Pakistan convincing the selectors that he deserved another chance. Sure enough he was back in the Test squad against Pakistan at Leeds and got a brisk 55 to cement his place.