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.
Jonny Bairstow headed into 2020 as one of England’s World Cup-winning heroes, scoring two centuries in the competition.
He totalled 532 runs from 11 matches and was the sixth highest run-scorer in the competition, only just behind Yorkshire team-mate Joe Root.
2019 proved to be a mixed year for one of English cricket’s plethora of talented wicketkeeper-batsmen as he lost his Test Match place immediately after the drawn summer (2-2) Ashes series following a sketchy run of form. However, everybody at Emerald Headingley knows just how big a part he can play at that level in years to come.
Bairstow, the son of late White Rose legend David, is also a two-time County Championship winner, a two-time Ashes winner and has broken a number of personal records along the way.
A darling of the Headingley faithful, Bairstow is a particularly clean striker of the ball, wherever he bats. He bats in the middle order against the red ball and at the top of the order in one-day cricket.
Bairstow starred in schools’ cricket for St Peter’s in York, where he also excelled in hockey and rugby union, and he moved through the Yorkshire Academy and second XI before making his first-class debut for the White Rose in 2009. He had also been on Leeds United’s junior programme.
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, this time with the wicketkeeping gloves on, 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 (2015/16) proved the start of a golden run, 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 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. He went on to beat Andy Flower’s haul of 1,045 in 2000 with 1,470. He also claimed his 57th dismissal in 2016, more than any other English wicketkeeper. He finished with 70.
Bairstow was 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, although England lost.
Bairstow scored the first of two T20 hundreds 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 hit 219 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 in all forms of the game, with a career best 246 coming in the opening round Championship draw against Hampshire at Headingley.
2017 proved another solid year in Test cricket, while he stamped his authority on one-day international cricket.
His Yorkshire appearances were limited to seven across all competitions, but he did post a brilliant 174 off 113 balls in a Royal London one-day Cup win over Durham at Headingley as an opening batsman.
Shortly afterwards, he broke into England’s ODI team in that position, scoring two centuries against the West Indies at Manchester and Southampton, the first two of his career, and there were more to follow not too long afterwards.
In October, prior to leaving for another Ashes campaign in Australia, he released his first book, A Clear Blue Sky, chronicling his life so far. Unfortunately, despite a superb first-innings 119 at Perth, England went on to lose the series amidst a difficult winter of Test cricket, culminating in an away 1-0 defeat in New Zealand (he scored his fifth century in that series).
Back to the ODI centuries….in New Zealand, he scored back-to-back tons before adding two more in the 2018 summer programme against Scotland and Australia.
His second against the Kiwis – in a Christchurch victory – came off only 58 balls, the fastest by an England opener, a record he beat by four balls against the Scots in Edinburgh in June.
Bairstow helped England to a Test series win over India and helped Yorkshire to two Championship wins away at Essex and Lancashire with key contributions.
His early winter tour to Sri Lanka with England was disrupted by an ankle injury suffered whilst playing warm-up football, but he returned to bat at three and scored a century at Colombo in November 2018.
That proved to be his last for until the end of 2019, somewhat explaining his omission from the Test team.
But World Cup centuries in wins over India and New Zealand helped write his name into English cricket folklore.
Ahead of the 2020 summer, which will see him play in the new Hundred competition for Welsh Fire, he will spend time at the Indian Premier League with Sunrisers Hyderabad for the second year running. He scored his second career T20 century for them in his maiden campaign.
Updated January 2020
NameJonathan Marc Bairstow
BornSeptember 26, 1989, Bradford, Yorkshire
County DebutYorkshire v Somerset, 11th June 2009
First ClassYorkshire v Somerset at Leeds, Jun 11-14, 2009