Nick Compton Retirement by Angus Fraser
It is inevitable that the conclusion of a sporting career creates a time for reflection and analysis, not just by the athlete but by everyone who has been involved in the journey.
And so it is with Nick Compton.
I have known Nick since he was a teenager who had travelled from his family home in Durban to attend Harrow School. Whilst at Harrow he played for Middlesex’s County Age-Group teams and then England Under 19’s. Upon leaving Harrow, Nick combined the dream of following in his Grandfather’s footsteps by becoming a professional cricketer at Lord’s, whilst also attending Durham University.
I was Nick’s first Captain at Middlesex, and I could not imagine what it would be like to play under the same family name as one of the greatest players, and largest characters, cricket has known. To even attempt to compete with a man that had put some joy back in the lives of a country ravaged by the horror of the Second World War would be a daunting task.
Nick’s determination to carve out his own identity, and to develop his own style of play, was always clear. He has always wanted to be his own man and allowed the family name to inspire him to be a top player rather than be a burden.
Throughout Nick’s career his commitment to excellence was absolute. He was one of the most determined, committed and brave cricketers I have had the pleasure of working with. He loved batting and he loved scoring runs. He craved the challenge of competing at the highest level and, in particular, taking on fast bowling. In his preparations for facing such a challenge he left no stone unturned and I never witnessed him take a backward step against the fastest of bowling.
During his career he made significant contributions to the teams he played for. At county level he helped Somerset become one of the most respected teams in English cricket. And, on returning to Middlesex, he contributed greatly to the Club finishing 2nd in the County Championship in 2015 and then helping Middlesex win the title for the first time in 23 years in 2016. The special memories created at Lord’s on the final day of the 2016 season will live forever with those associated with the Club.
Playing for England is an honour that is given to very few. Despite what some people may say, England Test caps are not thrown around like confetti. Only 686 have men have earned that professional privilege. Nick is number 654 and in the 16 Tests he played for England, he made a number of significant contributions, especially abroad. He was part of series winning teams in India and South Africa, feats achieved by very few England teams, and he holds the distinction of never having played in a losing series.
Nick started and ended his career at Lord’s and during his time here ensured the Compton name remained strong, alive and very much part of Middlesex Cricket and its rich history.
Everyone at Middlesex Cricket wishes Nick happiness and success in both his broader life and in the future career path he chooses. He will always be welcome at Lord’s, and we continue to look forward to seeing him walk through the Grace Gates at the ‘Home of Cricket.’
Angus Fraser, Managing Director of Cricket, Middlesex Cricket