NAME: Jonathan Marc Bairstow DOB: September 26, 1989, Bradford ROLE: Wicketkeeper/Right-handed bat NICKNAME: Bluey DID YOU KNOW?: Jonny’s sporting talents could have taken him on a different path, with him spending time on Leeds United’s Academy as a right-back.
A stunning last two years has seen Jonny Bairstow, a powerful wicketkeeper-batsman, star for Yorkshire and break records in an England Test shirt.
Bairstow, the son of late Yorkshire legend David, is a two-time County Championship winner with his county and a two-time Ashes winner with his country.
One of English cricket’s most prized assets, he is a particularly clean striker of the ball, whether he bats in the top order for Yorkshire or the middle order for England.
Bairstow starred in schools’ cricket for St Peter’s in York, where he also excelled in hockey and rugby, and he moved through the Yorkshire Academy and second XI before making his first-class debut for the White Rose in 2009.
Despite not playing any age-group international cricket for teams such as England Under 19s, Bairstow quickly announced himself on the international stage following impressive displays for the Lions and for Yorkshire, including a magnificent 205 in a County Championship clash with Notts in 2011 – his maiden first-class ton.
Having hit 41 not out off 21 balls against India on his one-day debut at Cardiff in September of that year, he went on to play Twenty20 international cricket later that month and then Test cricket in the summer of 2012.
He scored 95 and 54 in his fourth Test appearance against South Africa in August 2012, and he played in four out of five Ashes Tests in the summer of 2013 as England won the series 3-0.
Bairstow also played in the final two Tests of the winter Ashes series in 2013/14 at Melbourne and Sydney before playing a part in Yorkshire’s Championship title win in 2014.
Bairstow returned to England’s Test team in the 2015 home summer, winning the Championship and Ashes again and touring the UAE for England’s series against Pakistan on the back of some stunning county form.
The subsequent Test series in South Africa proved the start of a golden run for Bairstow, with him hitting a maiden Test ton at Cape Town as England went on to win the series.
He hit 150 not out and shared 399 with Ben Stokes, and that was the first of three hundreds in six Tests, including 140 against Sri Lanka on his home ground of Headingley in late May.
During the drawn winter series in Bangladesh later in the year, he passed 1,000 Test runs for the calendar year, becoming the record holder for runs for a wicketkeeper in a calendar year, beating Andy Flower’s haul of 1,045 in 2000.
He also claimed his 57th dismissal in 2016, more than any other English wicketkeeper.
Bairstow was also the inaugural winner of the Young Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year award in 2008 having debuted for Yorkshire’s second team aged 17 earlier in the year.
He scored an eye-catching unbeaten 82 during his Championship bow, a defeat against Somerset at Headingley in June 2009.
Despite the disappointment of Championship relegation in 2011, he had toured the Caribbean with the England Lions in January and scored 1,015 Championship runs for Yorkshire in 13 matches, including that aforementioned double against Notts.
He was capped in July and named Yorkshire’s Player of the Year in September before debuting in one-day cricket for England as a batsman.
His 182 in a win against Leicestershire at Scarborough in May 2012 helped secure a Test debut against the West Indies at Lord’s before he impressed against the South Africans at the same venue later in the summer.
Became as Ashes winner in 2013, including a top-score of 67 in the second Test at Lord’s, and played in the return series later in the year, this time as a wicketkeeper, although England lost.
Bairstow scored his only T20 hundred to date against Durham at Emirates Durham, a blistering 102, midway through 2014, whilst hitting a stunning 161 not out on a slow, low pitch against Sussex in a Championship draw at Arundel as Yorkshire went on to win the title.
He played an even bigger part in the 2015 success as he scored 1,108 Championship runs in only 15 innings at 92.33 with five hundreds and as many fifties.
His form gained him a Test recall for the final three Ashes Tests of the summer as a batsman. England won the series, with Bairstow scoring a polished 74 in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge.
Bairstow’s career best 219 came in an away Championship win against Durham, while he was again named as the Yorkshire Player of the Year and scooped a similar award from the Cricket Writers’ Club.
2016 then proved to be another stunner of a year for a man who is now key to England’s plans, especially against the red ball.