You will not be short of senior figures to tell you just how good left-handed batsman Alex Lees can be! Former England Test opener Geoff Boycott is one and Andrew Gale even compared him to Aussie great Matthew Hayden during the 2014 summer.
Lees, who has captained Yorkshire’s Academy and Second XI teams and was named interim captains of the limited overs first teams in late 2015, signed full professional terms with the county ahead of the 2013 season following a string of impressive displays through his teenage years.
And those impressive performances did not abate in 2013 either. He became Yorkshire’s youngest ever double centurion at 20 years and 95 days old when he hit 275 not out in a win over Derbyshire at Chesterfield in mid-July.
Boycott believes the Halifax-born player will be a star of the future.
Current England assistant coach Paul Farbrace, meanwhile, was present in his duty as Kent’s coach when Lees scored a brilliant double century against a combined Kent and Northamptonshire Second XI team at Beckenham in May, 2011. When he took over as Yorkshire’s Second XI coach shortly afterwards, he was full of praise for the left-hander.
Lees opens the batting in Championship and one-day cricket, while he has impressed at number three in T20 cricket on occasions. He excelled in all formats during a memorable 2014, which brought him a number of individual honours as Young Player of the Year from the PCA, Yorkshire CCC and the Cricket Writer’s Club.
Lees has featured for the England Lions, and he has already been spoken about as a viable option to open the batting for England in Test matches during the near future.
Lees, capped at the end of 2014, has also revealed that he has the capabilities to do magic tricks having learnt off his uncle.
2007 – Scored a century for Yorkshire’s under 14s side in a 45-over match against their Northumberland counterparts in June.
2008 – After bringing up three figures for the under 15s in a 50-over match against the same opponents in July, he did likewise for Yorkshire’s Academy against Guernsey under 19s during the successful ARCH Trophy win in the United Arab Emirates in December aged 15.
2009 – He added an under 17s hundred to his collection against Nottinghamshire in a two-day County Championship match in August, and captained the Academy once in July.
2010 – Made an encouraging first-class bow against the touring Indian A team in June against future Test players Abhinav Mukund, Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha.
2011 – Played a second first-class match against Durham MCCU in April before his maiden Second XI ton was that magnificent 204 at Beckenham in May. He then made his List A debut in a 40-over match against Worcestershire at Headingley in August. Turned down the opportunity to represent England under 19s shortly afterwards for family reasons.
2012 – Captained Yorkshire’s Second XI before making a further 40-over appearance against runners-up Warwickshire at Scarborough in August. Signed his first senior professional contract ahead of the 2013 campaign.
2013 – Lees scored two fifties in four 40-over appearances, but saved his best for Middlesex and Derbyshire in the Championship. He entered the White Rose record books in the process. Having scored his maiden first-class century in the season opening friendly against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities, his 100 against Middlesex at Lord’s in June was his maiden Championship ton. He followed that up in mid-July with a stunning 275 not out against Derbyshire at Chesterfield. It remains the joint eleventh highest score in Yorkshire’s history. He scored 33 for the Lions in a two-day match against the touring Australians at Northampton in August. Travelled Down Under with the England Performance Programme squad in November.
2014 – Lees was one half of county cricket’s most successful opening partnership in the Championship, Adam Lyth the other. The pair shared a record breaking stand of 375 to turn around a match against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road on the way to the title, while they also shared another double century opening stand against Durham at Headingley. Nicknamed Haydos, the left-hander hit his maiden one-day century against Northants at Wantage Road in August having hit a career best 67 in T20 cricket against Derbyshire earlier in the summer. He was capped before the final Championship match of the season against Somerset on the back of 971 runs in that competition with two centuries. He was then rewarded with a string of personal honours and also call-ups to the England winter Performance Programme and Lions squads.
2015 – A challenging year for the left-hander, despite starting it on a high by leading Yorkshire to an opening week Championship win against Worcestershire in the absence of regular skipper Andrew Gale. Lees scored a hundred in the next match against Notts at Trent Bridge, but it proved to be his only ton of the year. He was, however, named as the club’s limited overs skipper for the rest of the campaign when Gale stepped down in August.