Dowman is happy to be a house husband
MATHEW Dowman made national headlines in 1993 when he broke the record individual score in international U19 cricket.
He was playing for England in a youth Test match against the West Indies, at Hove, when he smashed 267 in a breath-taking innings.
It even overshadowed the feats of double-century maker Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Fate can be cruel. The West Indian was catapulted into the senior Test side on the back of that knock and went on to score 10,500 Test runs.
By contrast, that 267 weighed heavily on Dowman, who was unable to hold down a regular first-team slot at Notts and eventually left for local rivals Derbyshire.
Ironically, Chanderpaul has just signed to play for Derbyshire this coming season, while Dowman quit his job as community coach for the Derbyshire Cricket Board just before Christmas.
He has become a house husband, looking after his four children, which includes nine-month-old twin girls, Poppy and Pearl, in Arnold.
"A day hardly went by without someone mentioning that innings," said Dowman, who remembers the game as if it was yesterday.
"Michael Vaughan was my opening partner and Jimmy Hindson had been on tour to India with us.
"We had drawn the first match at Trent Bridge.
"It was a good toss to win because the wicket was flat, which wasn't ideal for me. But at least you didn't need to work hard for your runs.
"I obviously batted well. Mickey Stewart was putting pressure on me at the end of each session and I certainly wasn't thinking of records at the time."
Dowman joined Notts in 1991 on the YTS training scheme and was paid £32 a week.
"It was a bit daunting leaving home at 17 and going into digs with Paul Pollard's mum," he recalled.
"But it had always been my ambition to play at Trent Bridge since my dad took me there. I fell in love with the place, watching players like Derek Randall, Chris Broad and Bruce French.
"I've played at Test venues all round the world and, for me, Trent Bridge is up there with the best."
He found himself cleaning cars, running baths and going on the cob run for the senior pros.
Dowman was actually playing at Farnsfield when he was called up to make his Notts debut.
After his debut, Dowman shared in two century partnerships with Tim Robinson against Essex.
In 1997 he scored 111 as Notts chased down 300 at Northampton. He followed up with 120 against Somerset and 96 against Allan Donald, putting on 200 with Nathan Astle.
Although he got capped at the start of the 1998 season, consistency deserted Dowman, who often batted at No.6, and by the end of 1999, he was released.
There were rumours of a row with cricket manager Clive Rice, but Dowman denies this.
"I can't recall falling out with him, I did everything he asked of me.
"But I had been injured and had become a little disillusioned and frustrated," he said.
"I wanted to join one of my heroes, Mathew Maynard, at Glamorgan. But I had just bought a house in Notts and couldn't afford to move."
Then, out of the blue, he got a call to join Dominic Cork at Derbyshire.
"They wanted me to open the batting and I joined on a two-year contract," said Dowman. "I had a good first season and got my cap and a one-year extension.
"But then I lost confidence with the bat and left to join Clifton Village in the Notts Premier League.
"I had a year there and then eight equally enjoyable years with Quarnon in the Derbyshire Premier.
"I enjoyed working in the community but, when the twins came along, I could no longer put my heart and soul into it. Plus the travelling was getting me down."
Dowman has quit the three-day game with Lincolnshire, where he linked up with Pollard again. But he has agreed to play in an emergency.
For now, he has his hands full with the twins and making a mark with his new club, Caythorpe.