Blackwell’s England days may have passed, but the Chesterfield-born all-rounder remains one of the most dangerous all-rounders in the domestic game.
An immensely powerful middle-order batsman with the ability to clear the biggest of boundaries, Blackwell is also a wily left-arm spinner, effective in all three forms of the game.
He began his career with home county Derbyshire, but moved to Somerset in 2000 and soon established himself as a firm favourite with the Taunton faithful.
International recognition followed in 2002 and he went on to play 34 one-day internationals, without ever achieving the success he had enjoyed at county level.
Blackwell enjoyed a hugely productive year in 2005. In addition to helping Somerset to glory in the Twenty20 Cup, he finished top of the Sky Sports Sixes League, having thumped 45 maximums from 669 balls in domestic one-day cricket, and was also the club’s leading scorer in the County Championship.
He also took over the captaincy when Graeme Smith returned to South Africa, a role he would retain in 2006, and a Test debut followed the following March, against India in Nagpur. The subsequent one-day series saw Blackwell make his final appearance for his country before he fell out of favour.
Somerset continued to benefit from his talents and gained promotion to Division One of the championship in 2007 as Blackwell contributed 590 runs and 26 wickets.
He passed the 1,000-run mark in first-class cricket for a third time the following year, before making a surprise switch to Durham in November 2008.
The move to the north east gave Blackwell a new lease of life; he excelled with bat and ball on a regular basis and helped his new side seal a second successive championship title.
The all-rounder continued to thrive thereafter, only to then lose his place in the side during the 2012 season after Paul Collingwood inherited the captaincy.
That prompted a loan move to Warwickshire, whom Blackwell helped seal the biggest prize in domestic cricket, towards the end of the campaign.