Top Chop – The Best Of Tim Robinson

A reliable batsman for England during the mid-1980s, Robert Timothy Robinson played in 425 first-class matches, notching up just over 27,500 runs at an average of 42. Born in the village of Skegby, in Sutton-in-Ashfield, on 21 November 1958, he played his entire career at Nottinghamshire CCC skippering the side from 1988 to 1995. Robinson made his first-class debut in 1978 and by 1983 was a regular in the side, having his best season with over 1500 runs and his maiden double century. He was a member of the team that won the County Championship in 1981. His breakthrough year came in 1984 as Notts came narrowly second in the County Championship, second in the Sunday League, and were semi-finalists in the Benson & Hedges Cup.

Robinson accumulated 2032 first-class runs at an average of 50.80 with five centuries, and led the county scoring with 550 runs at 42.30 in the 40-over league. This led to him being selected for the challenging tour of India during the winter. In only his second test match he compiled a brilliant 160 in eight and a half hours as England won the match by eight wickets. He followed this up with a score of 74 in the Madras test as England amassed a massive 652 for seven declared, and then a knock of 96 in the fifth game as the tourists clinched an historic series win. His debut test series had brought him 444 runs at 63.42 in arguably the hardest place to tour.

Returning home, Robinson was a first choice for the 1985 summer series against Australia, and in the opening test he continued his love for the international game with a superb 175 with 26 boundaries. And with further scores of 77 not out, and a momentous 148 at Birmingham when he featured in a stand of 331 with David Gower, he ended his second test series with 490 runs at an average of 61.25. His record at this stage was 934 runs at 62.26 after 11 tests. He added another 1107 runs at 61.50 for the county, and over 900 runs at an average of over 50 in List A/one-day matches, with innings of 56, 120, 77, 98 not out, 90, 139, and 80 in the NatWest final as the county lost by one run to Essex. Not bad for a batsman who modelled himself on Geoff Boycott! A tour to the West Indies unfortunately saw him manage only 72 runs in eight innings, struggling against the might of the pace attack. Back home, he accrued over 2500 runs as Nottinghamshire enjoyed two fine seasons, including the double trophy triumph of 1987, and managed a score of 166 against Pakistan.

Despite his test career dwindling down with a final appearance in 1989, Robinson continued to flourish with his batting for the county. In eight seasons, between 1989 and 1996, he accumulated 11,941 runs at an average of over 47 with 30 hundreds. His limited overs form was also exemplary with eight seasons where he notched over 500 runs. 1990 was exceptional with over a 1000 runs in 25 innings. Having already been named as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in 1986, Robinson took over the captaincy from the successful and popular figure Clive Rice in 1988, and aided the county to a Benson & Hedges Cup triumph a year later and second place in the Sunday League Cup. He led the way with a top score of 80 in the B&H semi-final and then a match-winning 86 in the Lord’s final against Essex. Two seasons later there was more success in the Sunday League of 1991. Robinson eventually retired from playing the game in 1999 after 22 seasons.

Despite his international career dwindling down to 1601 runs in 29 tests at an average of 36.38 after a promising start, Robinson finished his career with Nottinghamshire as the county’s second top run-scorer (24,439), and second in the list of century-makers (55). He topped the county batting averages six times between 1983 and 1996, and was twice the season’s top run scorer, forming a successful opening partnership with Chris Broad, with whom he spent six seasons. His final first-class career figures came to 425 matches, 27,571 runs, average of 42.15, 63 hundreds, and a top score of 220 not out. In addition, he made 11,889 runs in 398 games at 34.36 in list a/one-day matches. Robinson was appointed as a first-class umpire in 2002, and his first international game was between England and New Zealand in a One-Day international in 2013. He was an official at the domestic Twenty20 finals day in 2020 which was won by Notts Outlaws.

*Article provided by Hitesh Darji (Cricket Correspondent)

*Main image @TrentBridge Tim Robinson is one of Notts all time leading run scorers.

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