Full name Thomas Westley
Born March 13, 1989, Cambridge
Current age 29 years 340 days
Major teams Cambridgeshire, England A, England Under-19s, Essex, Essex 2nd XI, Marylebone Cricket Club
Playing role Top-order batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Height 6 ft 2 in
|Test debut||England v South Africa at The Oval, Jul 27-31, 2017 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v West Indies at Lord's, Sep 7-9, 2017 scorecard|
|First-class debut||Cambridge UCCE v Essex at Cambridge, May 9-11, 2007 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Surrey v Essex at The Oval, Sep 24-27, 2018 scorecard|
|List A debut||Essex v Sri Lankans at Chelmsford, Jun 9, 2006 scorecard|
|Last List A||Essex v Yorkshire at Chelmsford, Jun 14, 2018 scorecard|
|T20s debut||Essex v Lancashire at Chelmsford, Jul 27, 2010 scorecard|
|Last T20s||Essex v Hampshire at Chelmsford, Jul 21, 2018 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|134, 0/13, 20||Essex||v Surrey||The Oval||24 Sep 2018||FC|
|55, 0/12||Essex||v Worcs||Chelmsford||18 Sep 2018||FC|
|16, 1/12, 110*||Essex||v Notts||Nottingham||10 Sep 2018||FC|
|0/8, 49, 7||Essex||v Surrey||Chelmsford||4 Sep 2018||FC|
|40, 0/0||Essex||v Hampshire||Chelmsford||29 Aug 2018||FC|
|0/11, 0, 1/8, 56||Essex||v Somerset||Taunton||19 Aug 2018||FC|
|96, 178*||Essex 2nd XI||v Surr 2nd XI||New Malden||13 Aug 2018||Other|
|57||Essex||v Indians||Chelmsford||25 Jul 2018||Other|
|9||Essex||v Hampshire||Chelmsford||21 Jul 2018||T20|
|20||Essex||v Gloucs||Cheltenham||20 Jul 2018||T20|
Tom Westley, a graceful batsman with, at his best, an enchanting leg-side game, broke into the England Test side more than a decade after his Essex debut. His penchant for the leg side, with an on drive to the fore, drew comparisons with John Crawley and a half-century on debut against South Africa at the Oval encouraged optimism that, at 28, his long apprenticeship on the county circuit would finally bear fruit. His experience against the West Indies, though, proved less rewarding and a run of five single-figure scores in his last six innings led him to be omitted from England's Ashes tour party.
Westley, first spotted by Keith Fletcher, the Essex guru, initially emerged as a middle-order batsman after joining the Essex Academy as a 14-year-old in 2003. He made his first-team debut in the one-day tour match against the Sri Lankans at Chelmsford in June 2006, travelling to Perth for three weeks on a Graham Gooch Scholarship that December and following that up with a trip to Mumbai as part of a five-strong Academy contingent in February 2007. He impressed enough there and in the indoor nets upon his return to be asked to join up with the first team on their pre-season tour to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
It was expected that Westley's first team chances would increase with the retirements of Andy Flower and Ronnie Irani, and Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara's increasing England commitments, but he hadn't really established himself before England Under-19s came calling, first for Pakistan Under-19s' visit in August 2007 and then for a tour of Sri Lanka and the Under-19 World Cup that followed in February 2008. Westley was named captain of the Under-19 side for New Zealand's tour that summer, and from 2009 juggled sporadic Essex appearances with his studies at Durham University.
A natural leader, he was also put in charge of the Durham MCCU side but returned to Essex to play a part in the County Championship promotion push by hitting a maiden first-class century in a crucial match at Derby in 2009.
His progress thereafter was steady rather than spectacular and it wasn't until 2012 that, for the first time, he played in every Championship game. His move up the order to open with Jaik Mickleburgh provided Essex with some solidity, after several combinations were tried, and included hitting his highest first-class score of 185 against Glamorgan. A broken finger sustained in the Ashes warm-up match against England curtailed his 2013 but the following season saw an extra dimension added to his limited-overs game.
He was first back on the national selectors' radar in late 2014, when, aged 25, he joined the England Performance Programme's batting and spin camp in Sri Lanka, staying on afterwards with the club side Bloomfield. That followed a breakthrough year in white-ball cricket, in which he averaged 57.33 in the Royal London Cup and 44.83 in T20, with three centuries across the formats. His capable offspin also continues to develop under the guidance of former Essex and England spinner Peter Such.
A century against the Australian tourists at Chelmsford ahead of the 2015 Ashes series - enough to receive a congratulatory text from Cook - followed a productive summer in 2014 when he scored more than 1700 runs at an average of 55 across all formats, and is an indication he may have what it takes.
Three more hundreds followed in Essex's promotion year in 2016 as this modest and articulate Durham graduate again pronounced himself one of Essex's most talented young players. He received a few honourable mentions in despatches, but England's interest only seemed likely to be fired by big first division runs and the opportunity had at last presented itself. It was an opportunity he was to take as Essex's status grew in a title-winning year and a Test debut followed against South Africa.
The day that Westley was excluded from the Ashes party happened to be the day that Essex were presented with the Championship trophy. It felt like a neat symbol of where his immediate future lay and that proved to be the case as he had a moderate season in Essex's failed 2018 Championship defence.
NBC Denis Compton Award 2008, 2009, 2010