Full name David Jonathan Willey
Born February 28, 1990, Northampton
Current age 29 years 54 days
Major teams Chennai Super Kings, England Lions, England Under-19s, Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire 2nd XI, Perth Scorchers, Yorkshire
Playing role Allrounder
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Left-arm fast-medium
Relation Father - P Willey
|ODI debut||Ireland v England at Dublin (Malahide), May 8, 2015 scorecard|
|Last ODI||England v India at Leeds, Jul 17, 2018 scorecard|
|T20I debut||England v New Zealand at Manchester, Jun 23, 2015 scorecard|
|Last T20I||West Indies v England at Basseterre, Mar 10, 2019 scorecard|
|First-class debut||Leicestershire v Northamptonshire at Leicester, Apr 15-18, 2009 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Yorkshire v Somerset at Leeds, Aug 29-Sep 1, 2018 scorecard|
|List A debut||Essex v Northamptonshire at Chelmsford, Apr 19, 2009 scorecard|
|Last List A||Yorkshire v Lancashire at Leeds, Apr 21, 2019 scorecard|
|T20s debut||Northamptonshire v Warwickshire at Northampton, May 25, 2009 scorecard|
|Last T20s||West Indies v England at Basseterre, Mar 10, 2019 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|2/51, 1||Yorkshire||v Lancashire||Leeds||21 Apr 2019||LA|
|0/44, 40||Yorkshire||v Warwickshire||Birmingham||19 Apr 2019||LA|
|8, 2/26||Yorkshire||v Leics||Leeds||17 Apr 2019||LA|
|4/7||England||v West Indies||Basseterre||10 Mar 2019||T20I # 752|
|13*, 2/18||England||v West Indies||Basseterre||8 Mar 2019||T20I # 751|
|0/20, 1*||England||v West Indies||Gros Islet||5 Mar 2019||T20I # 750|
|0/26||Scorchers||v Syd Sixers||Perth||13 Jan 2019||T20|
|1/27||Scorchers||v Melb Stars||Melbourne||9 Jan 2019||T20|
|0/8, 7||Scorchers||v Syd Thunder||Sydney||2 Jan 2019||T20|
|6, 0/7||Scorchers||v Hurricanes||Launceston||30 Dec 2018||T20|
If there had been an English prototype for the perfect Twenty20 cricketer, it probably would have looked something like David Willey. Naturally competitive, willing to innovate, capable of changing a game with bat or ball, stunning run-out or implausible catch, he had much in his favour. That feisty approach, whether as a left-arm quick committed to attack or a clean-hitting left-handed batsman, first won him an international cap against Ireland in 2015 as part of an England side determined to adopt a more attacking philosophy after their flop in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Willey, the son of former England allrounder turned umpire Peter Willey, made his debut for Northamptonshire at the start of the 2009 season and struck a half-century on debut. Initially classed as obdurate, like his father, but with a far less unorthodox technique, he spent a few seasons of reconnaissance before his combative style began to attract attention. There had been few grittier, taciturn cricketers than his father and it was clear that that will to win had been passed down, albeit in a more freewheeling and loquacious style.
His bowling really developed during the 2012 season when claimed 43 first-class wickets with his brisk swing and seam. The following summer he was central to Northamptonshire's Friends Life t20 success with a memorable all-round performance in the final: a 19-ball half-century (the fastest of the season), a direct-hit run-out from the deep and a hat-trick to finish off the match as part of a four-wicket haul, not forgetting a slanging match with Jade Dernbach which he partly credited for his inspirational display. It was enough for his captain, Alex Wakely, to label him "the Northants Botham."
He had already been named in an England Lions squad and the chat was increasing that full international honours, especially with the white ball, would not be far away. But he had played the final part of 2013 with a sore back and after he pulled out of the England Performance Programme squad, a stress fracture was discovered; surgery on an injured shoulder followed. Talk of an England World Cup berth in Australia and New Zealand in 2015 was abruptly stilled, but the Lions wasted little time in evaluating him in 50-over cricket when he returned for Northants midway through the 2014 season, signalling that his potential was still recognised.
His feisty approach first won him an international cap in an experimental England side that met Ireland in Malahide in May 2015 in what turned out to be Peter Moores' last game as England coach. Further ODI and T20I opportunities followed.
Willey produced the performance of the 2015 season when he struck a matchwinning century against Sussex at Hove in the NatWest Blast quarter-final, including 34 off an over from the former England slow left-armer Mike Yardy as he fewll only a metre short of hitting six sixes in an over. He destroyed Birmingham's top order in the semi-final before Lancashire overcame Northants in the final.
At the end of the season, he joined Yorkshire in the most headline-grabbing signing of the season, believing that he could advance his long-form game as well as galvanising Yorkshire's less-impressive limited-overs cricket. An outstanding bowling contribution in the World Twenty20 final in Kolkata brought no joy - England were pipped by West Indies in a remarkable final over - although it again emphasised his big-game talents. His switch of counties brought no immediate miracles, however: Yorkshire did reach Finals Day in the NatWest Blast in 2016, but lost in the semi-finals, Willey took only 13 Championship wickets in six matches in his first two seasons and his England limited-overs career became a strange affair as he languished deep in the batting order and rarely completed his allocation of overs; there was no place either in the 2017 Champions Trophy. A career-best 118, from 55 balls, in a T20 victory over Worcestershire at Headingley, the highest T20 score at the time by a Yorkshire batsman, was a glimpse of what the county had invested in.