Andy Brown was one of those rare players who get a second chance with the same county. Derbyshire born, and with father John having held numerous coaching posts with Derbyshire (both before and after his sons tenure on the staff), Brown was well schooled in Derbyshire cricket.. He was perhaps unlucky to have been released in the first place, with an average a whisker under 30 after his first four First-class matches. After his release at the end of 1987, Brown played for a number of other counties second teams, although it was Derbyshire he was invited back to at the end of the 1989 season, where a 65 against Nottinghamshire in his first championship match for 3 years confirmed that the break may have done him good. He took advantage of the batsmans paradise of 1990 to compile a maiden First-class hundred against Northamptonshire, although the price of that innings was a season ending broken hand inflicted by Curtly Ambrose. That was a personal disaster for Brown, as he never even scored another half century in the rest of his career. Browns composure and solidity made him suited to batting in the top three, although that same lack of scorching scoring strokes inevitably limited his opportunities in limited-overs cricket. By the time of his second release in 1992 (which, shamefully, he first heard of on a local radio station) Brown had already scored more runs for the Derbyshire Second XI than anyone else in history. He was able to extend this record with his captaincy/coaching of the second string from late 1997 2000. Brown is still a useful player for Chesterfield in the Derbyshire Premier league, and is also the clubs development officer, responsible for developing the North Derbyshire teams cricket from backyard to First XI.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)