NAME: Alexander Zak Lees DOB: April 14,1993, Halifax ROLE: Left-handed bat NICKNAME: Leesy DID YOU KNOW?: Alex was taught magic by his Uncle, a member of the Magic Circle, and has performed tricks in front of his team-mates.
Opening batsman Alex Lees was appointed Yorkshire’s limited overs captain ahead of 2016, leading his side to only their second ever T20 Finals Day appearance in his first year in charge.
Lees, a two-time County Championship winner, has also featured heavily for the England Lions.
Hailed by Geoffrey Boycott as an England star of the future in the early stages of his career, Lees has also earned comparisons to great Australian opener Matthew Hayden.
Lees, who has captained Yorkshire’s Academy and second XI teams, was named interim captain of the limited overs team in late 2015 before taking on the role permanently shortly afterwards in place of Andrew Gale, who stepped down from the role.
The Halifax-born star has also captained his county in Championship cricket.
Lees signed professional terms ahead of 2013 following a string of impressive displays through his teenage years.
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 July 2013.
Lees opens the batting in Championship and one-day cricket, while he has impressed further down the order 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 in the future.
Capped at the end of 2014, Lees topped 1,000 Championship runs in a season for the first time in his career in 2016.
Lees played age-group cricket for Yorkshire from Under 14s to Under 17s before graduating through to the club’s Academy team in 2008.
In 2010, Lees made his first-class bow for Yorkshire against the touring Indian A side including future county colleague Cheteshwar Pujara and another Test player Wriddhiman Saha.
He played a second first-class match against Durham MCCU in April 2011 before his maiden second XI ton was a magnificent 204 at Beckenham in May. He then made his List A debut in a 40-over match against Worcestershire at Headingley in August.
The left-hander signed senior professional terms with Yorkshire ahead of 2013, the season which saw him debut in the County Championship against Sussex at Headingley.
Having scored his maiden first-class century in the season opening friendly against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities, another against Middlesex at Lord’s in June was his maiden Championship ton.
He followed that up with that aforementioned 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 and travelled Down Under with the England Performance Programme squad in November.
Lees was one half of county cricket’s most successful opening partnership in the Championship in 2014, 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 by his captain Gale, Lees hit his maiden one-day century against Northants at Wantage Road in August.
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 was a challenging year, personally, despite starting it on a high by leading Yorkshire to an opening week Championship win against Worcestershire in the absence of regular skipper Gale and ending on a high with another Championship title.
Lees scored a hundred in the next match against Notts at Trent Bridge, but it proved to be his only ton of the year.
But he bounced back superbly in 2016, hitting 1,165 Championship runs with three hundreds and also leading Yorkshire’s limited overs teams to the knockout stages of both white ball competitions.
Hopefully, in 2017, he is able to marry personal success with team silverware.