(Photo by Dan Mullan / Getty Images)
By Charlie Talbot-Smith
FOR MOST people the iconic image of Chris Read’s final day as a professional cricketer is the guard of honour when he walked off the pitch for the final time.
The former England and Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper had hit a century earlier in the game at Hove and signed off on the perfect note as he helped his county secure promotion back to the top flight after a trophy-laden 2017.
But for Tom Moores the personal highlight will always be watching Read on that final morning, going through his warm-up one last time with customary attention to detail.
“That final morning at Hove stands out for me, I remember I was on the balcony watching him as he went through all his drills, one by one, on what was the final day of his career,” said Moores, who this month extended his deal at Trent Bridge until 2019.
“It was quite a special moment really, because I was thinking, ‘this is my chance now’ but, at the same time, it reinforced the lessons that he had taught me, about discipline.
“That word sums him up as a person and cricketer, that is reflected in his game and when you are seeing that first hand you can’t help but be dragged along.
“From the outside looking in, people wouldn’t know how hard he works. With everything he has achieved, he is still the hardest worker in the team.”
At 21, Moores’ time with the gloves at Trent Bridge appears to have arrived.
The son of head coach, and former England boss Peter, Moores was an ever-present in the Outlaws run to the T20 title. But he had to play second fiddle to Read in the one-day and four-day formats – but all that could be about to change.
“With him moving on, Notts have showed faith in extending my contract,” added the former England U19 international.
“If I can get the gloves now in more formats and play more then that would be great. I feel I am ready to take on that challenge, and with us being in Division One which will be tough. But I have to back my abilities.
“Having Ready around has been great for me and my development. It doesn’t take a genius to understand what sort of cricketer he is – the bloke is a legend of the game. One of the best keeper batsmen in the country right up until his final game.
“I am very lucky to have been able to tap into him and his knowledge.”
But for Moores, just starting out on the road to what he hopes will be an international career like his mentor Read, there is a key lesson to learn.
“The most important thing for me is not to go in and try and replace Chris Read,” he added. “If I do get the chance then I have to go out and try and stamp my own mark on the role and be my own player.
“I cannot go out there thinking I am going to fill his shoes. That is just not going to happen.
“If I can have half the career that he has had then that would be amazing.”