Lees to make Halifax cricket history at Headingley as England take on New Zealand

When Alex Lees steps out at Headingley today, Thursday, he will become the first Halifax born cricketer to play Test cricket at the ground in the last 101 years, writes Paul Whiteley.

By Mark Berry
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:27 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:36 am

The last person to do so in July 1921 was Hanson ‘Sammy’ Carter who was born in the town, but was brought up in Australia and it was for his adopted country that he played in Leeds.

The career of 29-year-old Lees started in the junior section of the Halifax Cricket League, at Bradshaw, where his father was a prominent all-rounder, and it has been a rollercoaster of a ride that finally reached the dizzy heights of test cricket this year.

He was attached to Yorkshire CCC from 2006 and in local cricket moved to Illingworth St Mary’s at the age of 13.

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Alex Lees. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

He made his first team debut at Illingworth in June 2007 and went on to captain the Yorkshire Academy team, progressing through the Second XI, and made his first class debut in June 2010.

It was however his move to Durham, on loan in 2018, that moved his career forward.

He was named Cricket Writers’ Club Young Cricketer of the Year in 2018 and signed a three-year contract at the Emirates Riverside.

In February 2022, Lees was named in England’s Test squad for their series against the West Indies. He made his Test debut there on March 8.

It is however the current series against New Zealand that all his attributes have come to the fore.

Ex-England captain Nasser Hussain commented that his performances in the two tests this year had been as though someone had ‘flicked a switch’.