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Honours Board Legend: Hussain

Nasser Hussain (right) celebrates with Graham Thorpe after hitting the winning runs
Nasser Hussain (right) celebrates with Graham Thorpe after hitting the winning runs

In the summer of 2004 England batsman Nasser Hussain walked out to bat against New Zealand at Lord’s for what would be his final innings and scored an emotional century to win the Test.

I was hell-bent on enjoying it

His 103 not out against the Black Caps is one of the most memorable hundreds to be scored at the Home of Cricket in recent years.

And, in an exclusive interview with Lord's TV, Hussain admitted that his decision to retire prior to the knock contributed to its success.

"I was so intense as a cricketer,"  said the man who captained England in 45 of his 96 Test appearances.

"But because it was my last knock, in a funny sort of way, it released me a little bit. I was hell-bent on enjoying it."

Hussain's famous farewell

With Michael Vaughan out of the Test due to a freak injury sustained in the nets just days before the match, Marcus Trescothick stepped in as skipper.

And when debutant Andrew Strauss – who Hussain famously ran out on 83 in the second innings – made a century in his first Test knock in England colours, the former captain had decided that this would be his swansong, in order to spare the selectors making a tough decision on who to leave out for Vaughan in the next match.

Determined to go out on a high, Hussain, along with long-time friend Graham Thrope, saw England through to the required 282 - the second highest successful fourth innings chase in a Test match at Lord's.

Hussain was the star, hitting the ball through extra cover with his trademark open-faced drive to bring England home and put his name on the Lord’s Honours Board for the third time in his career.

The former Essex batsman had also scored 105 against South Africa in 1998 and 155 against India in 2002.

Hussain, who hasn't played cricket since his retirement, had no second thoughts at the time over his decision to retire to a position in the media and this week was reunited with the bat - which is now on display in the MCC Museum – for the first time since he scored his famous century.

“It’s a great honour, I love the Museum,” he said.

“Everywhere else in a Test match week is absolute chaos. If you just want a calm five minutes to gather your thoughts, it’s a good place to go.”

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