County Stats (19/20 season)
On June 9, 2013, Matthew Fisher made cricketing history by becoming the youngest post war county cricketer aged 15 years and 212 days when he played a YB40 match against Leicestershire at Scarborough.
Fisher, a seam bowler whose experience is beyond his tender years, has also led the England Under 19s bowling attack at a World Cup campaign and is expected to be a star of the future as long as he can overcome some nagging injury issues which have limited his appearances over the last few years.
Fisher, who calls the Sheriff Hutton Bridge club near York home and returned to play for them in 2018 alongside brothers Adam and Mark after the completion of his White Rose Academy career, was handed his maiden professional contract at Emerald Headingley ahead of 2015.
And it proved to be a memorable year for the teenager as he played three County Championship matches and took five wickets on debut in the T20 Blast, helping the club in a small way to the four-day title.
Unfortunately, 2016 did not go to plan as he suffered hamstring problems and subsequently failed to play a first-team fixture.
He warmed up for 2017 with a spell in Australian first grade cricket with Adelaide Cricket Club, and although his injury issues were behind him he had to be patient for a first-team chance in the Championship – his primary goal.
He played a decent amount of limited overs cricket early in the summer, but he had to wait until the final fortnight of the campaign to play four-day cricket.
But it was certainly worth the wait!
He claimed a career best 5-54 in the first innings of a crucial win over Warwickshire at Headingley and hit 37 and 15 with the bat, sharing in a superb eighth-wicket partnership of 78 with Steve Patterson as the hosts chased 174 and slipped to 96-7.
In 2018, Fisher had more injury problems to contend with, a torn side at the start, toe injuries through the middle and a stress reaction in his back at the end.
But he can reflect on the positives of playing in the ECB’s North v South one-day series, for the MCC in the champion county clash with Essex – both in Barbados – and for the England Lions in a one-day tri-series at home against their Indian and West Indian counterparts.
Fisher also hit an unbeaten 24 at the death to help secure a crucial 50-over group win against Derbyshire in May as Yorkshire qualified for the knockouts of the Royal London one-day Cup. He went on to take 18 wickets in all forms.
In 2019, Fisher endured more frustration. He missed the start of the season having broken his right thumb whilst batting in the winter nets. Then, in the first Vitality Blast game of the campaign, against Derbyshire at Chesterfield in late July, he dislocated his right shoulder whilst fielding having also broken his left thumb in the warm-ups for the game.
He returned to fitness at the end of August and took four wickets and hit a 47 in a County Championship defeat against Kent at Headingley whilst also hitting the winning runs as Sheriff Hutton Bridge won their maiden Yorkshire Premier League title in a win over Harrogate (44 not out) – something which has proved to be one of the highlights of his career so far given his love for Bridge life.
In 2011, Fisher took 5-5 for Yorkshire Under 14s against their Northumberland counterparts in a 45-over match in June before scoring 59 not out in a similar match against Nottinghamshire the following month.
The following June, he returned 5-13 for the Academy in a resounding Yorkshire Premier League win against Hull.
June 2013 saw that aforementioned first-team debut, taking 1-40 from seven overs, before making his England Under 19s bow in a one-day triangular series against Bangladesh and Pakistan later in the summer. He played two YB40 matches for Yorkshire.
Fisher took 10 wickets from six matches at the Under 19s World Cup in the UAE in February 2014 as England exceeded expectations and reached the semi-finals, where they were beaten in a low-scoring thriller by Pakistan.
He played a further three one-day matches for Yorkshire during the domestic summer, this time in the new Royal London Cup, taking three wickets.
The teenager also played his part in Yorkshire Academy’s league and cup double win that season.
In 2015, Fisher debuted in the Championship against Notts at Trent Bridge in the second week of the season, taking two wickets in the match. His maiden first-class scalp was former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor.
He played two more four-day matches on the way to his first Championship title and deserved more reward than two-for against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl during the penultimate week of the campaign.
He played in 13 T20 Blast matches around his A-Level exams, and his 16 wickets made him the most prolific Vikings bowler.
His debut haul of 5-22 against Derbyshire at Headingley in May means he was one of only three Yorkshire bowlers to have taken five wickets in a T20 match. That number has since increased.
He also returned eight wickets from as many matches as the county reached the RL50 semi-finals.
Fisher captained the England Under 19s on their tour of India in early 2017. Fingers crossed, he gets the opportunity to play for the national senior team in the near future. An excellent, injury free summer in 2020 will certainly fuel that ambition.