Nixon reflects on his career’s emotional late chapter

Paul Nixon is in the process of writing his autobiography but there may well be a couple of additional chapters after the former England one-day international wicketkeeper helped Leicestershire to the Friends Life t20 finals day.

Nixon announced last week that he will retire at the end of the season after a career spanning 22 years. But his retirement might be delayed  until the end of September after Nixon made a match-winning 31 in the spectacular three-wicket win over Kent in the quarter-final at Grace Road.

Nixon, who will play only Twenty20 cricket for the rest of the season, now has another finals day, at Edgbaston on August 27, to look forward to, followed by his farewell appearance at Grace Road against India two days later.

But there may yet be a trip to the Champions League qualifying tournament in India next month if Leicestershire can reach the final of the domestic competition.

“I’m very blessed and very lucky,” Nixon said. “There’s someone looking after me upstairs, I know there is. It has been an amazing journey and to finish on such a high at Grace Road was beyond my wildest imagination.

“We are a small club and a close knit unit. We have a squad of only 16 players so we have to look after ourselves.

“At the start of the season we talked about ourselves going up in the County hampionship but we have had a poor Cchampionship season so we have channelled all our energies into the t20 competition.

“We’ve struggled in the Championship because we have probably lacked a high-class senior batsmen to be honest. We lost HD Ackerman, who held us together, and before that we had Brad Hodge.

“But we have shown a lot of character by getting through to finals day. We have some special youngsters coming through and I’m delighted that they have got a chance to play in finals day this early in their careers.

“It’s what it’s all about and what you play cricket for. I’m lucky, this will be my ninth semi-final. For most of these lads it will be their first but you find out so much about yourself playing in big games.”

Nixon, who hopes to stay involved with Leicestershire in a coaching capacity, has been overwhelmed by the good luck messages he has received since he announced his retirement.

“It has been a bit of emotional week but have had lots of text messages since the announcement was made,” he said. “I have always wanted to appear on ‘This Is Your Life’ and ‘A Question of Sport’. It now feels like I have already done ‘This Is Your Life.’”

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