Leicestershire will be indebted to Paul Nixon for the tremendous success he has brought to the club over the years, with his exceptional cricketing talent. The wicketkeeper-batsman appeared for England in just 19 ODIs and a solo T20I, but has been phenomenal in county cricket.
Nico's first-class debut came way back in 1989, and with eight catches in the first match itself, it was evident that a long, illustrious career awaited this man. Nixon helped his club win two Championship titles in 1996 and 1998, following which he had a short stint with Kent until 2002. Upon his return in 2003, he became a crucial cog in the Twenty20 set up, helping his side win two T20 titles. Nixon was arguably the best in the world when it came to hitting the reverse sweep. Often, he used it as a weapon to destroy the bowler's reputation.
With the likes of Jack Russell and Alec Stewart already existing in England's national team, Nixon found it difficult to establish himself there. However, he was handed a surprise call-up for the ODIs against Australia in 2006-07, and also played in the World Cup that followed. But, just as he was heading for his debut in Test cricket, Nixon was overlooked for Matt Prior. Less international exposure did not deter this fit and enthusiastic cricketer from making waves in county cricket and he went on to captain the Leics in 2007-08.
At 40, it looked like Nixon could still go miles. But, age does catch up and he soon announced his retirement from cricket in 2011, and that his last match for the Leics would be the quarter finals of the domestic T20 competition. But it meant, should his side beat Kent and progress ahead, he would participate. He went on to play in the finals and bowed out in style as Leicestershire beat Somerset to clinch the title. However, Nixon made himself available as part of the squad for the 2011 Champions League T20 held in India.