Full name Edmund James Holden Eckersley
Born August 9, 1989, Oxford
Current age 26 years 265 days
Major teams Leicestershire, Leicestershire 2nd XI, Marylebone Cricket Club, Marylebone Cricket Club Young Cricketers, Middlesex 2nd XI, Mountaineers
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|First-class debut||Leicestershire v Surrey at Leicester, Aug 23-25, 2011 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Derbyshire v Leicestershire at Derby, Sep 22-25, 2015 scorecard|
|List A debut||Marylebone Cricket Club v Bangladesh A at Durham, Aug 1, 2008 scorecard|
|Last List A||Leicestershire v Somerset at Leicester, Aug 18, 2015 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Mountaineers v Kenya at Harare, Nov 19, 2011 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Northamptonshire v Leicestershire at Northampton, Jul 12, 2015 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|0||M.C.C.||v KZN Inv XI||Durban||31 Dec 2015||Other OD|
|50, 8||Leics||v Derbyshire||Derby||22 Sep 2015||FC|
|13, 30||Leics||v Essex||Leicester||14 Sep 2015||FC|
|23, 6||Leics||v Gloucs||Leicester||1 Sep 2015||FC|
|0||Leics||v Northants||Northampton||21 Aug 2015||FC|
|29||Leics||v Somerset||Leicester||18 Aug 2015||LA|
|4||Leics||v Worcs||Worcester||17 Aug 2015||LA|
|0, 13||Leics||v Derbyshire||Leicester||7 Aug 2015||FC|
|9||Leics||v Durham||Leicester||6 Aug 2015||LA|
|19||Leics||v Derbyshire||Derby||4 Aug 2015||LA|
Ned Eckersley left Leicestershire's awards night in 2013 downladen with trophies. He won six, including being named Leicestershire's Cricketer of the Year as well as collecting the Player of the Year honour from both supporters and players alike. Other awards piled up for batting and fielding, the latter illustrating that his keeping had also come on leaps and bounds).
It was perhaps his final award, though, that put his awards in context. That was for the outstanding performance of the season: an innings of 147 against Essex at Chelmsford. Leicestershire went on to lose the match by an innings and did not win a Championship game all season as they finished rooted to the foot of Division Two. Eckersley was one of the few bright spots, amassing 1,302 first-class runs at an average of over 50 as well as making useful one-day contributions.
He registered five centuries in all competitions, including two in the same game against Worcestershire: the first Leicestershire player since Brad Hodge to achieve that feat. He also made a maiden YB40 hundred against Yorkshire. As new helm masters - coach Andrew McDonald and captain Mark Cosgrove - took over in 2015, amid a high turnover of players, Eckersley, as vice captain, had become a key figure, but a third successive bottom finish in the Championship, and his own faltering runs tally, told that progress would not be easy. Indeed, one of his tasks as a stand-in captain was to apologise publicly for an abject one-day display against Somerset.
Eckersley, a wicketkeeper-batsman and a former member of the MCC Groundstaff, joined Leicestershire in pre-season in 2011 and immediately made an impression in Second XI cricket, scoring more than 1,300 runs at that level in his first season.
In August of that year, shortly after his 22nd birthday, he was promoted to Leicestershire's Championship side for the last four matches of the summer and continued the upward curve, making a century against Middlesex at Grace Road in his seventh innings. He then spent part of the close season playing for Mountaineers in Zimbabwe.
Back in England in 2012 he made more progress, scoring almost 1,000 runs for the senior Leicestershire side in all cricket, including more than 700 in first-class matches at 30.79. He demonstrated versatility at the crease, batting for more than six-and-a half hours for his career-best 137 not out against Glamorgan in Cardiff during a match-saving second-wicket stand of 245 in 88.4 overs with Michael Thornely, yet on another occasion hitting 72 from 44 balls to help Leicestershire beat Worcestershire in a 40-over match, including seven sixes.
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