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Full name Graham Richard Napier
Born January 6, 1980, Colchester, Essex
Current age 33 years 139 days
Major teams England, Central Districts, England Lions, Essex, Essex 2nd XI, Essex Cricket Board, Mumbai Indians, Wellington
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Height 5 ft 10 in
Education Gilberd School, Colchester
|Last First-class||Glamorgan v Essex at Cardiff, May 15-18, 2013 scorecard|
|List A debut||1997|
|Last List A||Scotland v Essex at Edinburgh, May 12, 2013 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Surrey v Essex at East Molesey, Jun 14, 2003 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Somerset v Essex at Taunton, Jul 24, 2012 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|1/67, 43, 1/61, 10||Essex||v Glamorgan||Cardiff||15 May 2013||FC|
|17, 0/33||Essex||v Scotland||Edinburgh||12 May 2013||LA|
|102*, 2/44, 1/41||Essex||v Lancashire||Manchester||7 May 2013||FC|
|1/53, 11||Essex||v Durham||Chester-le-Street||5 May 2013||LA|
|50, 1/40||Essex||v Hampshire||Chelmsford||3 May 2013||LA|
|1/57, 74, 1/37, 78*||Essex||v Hampshire||Chelmsford||29 Apr 2013||FC|
|73*, 6/93, 13||Essex||v Northants||Northampton||17 Apr 2013||FC|
|0/79, 0*||Essex||v Gloucs||Chelmsford||10 Apr 2013||FC|
|2/21, 0*, 1/35||Essex||v Cambs MCCU||Cambridge||5 Apr 2013||FC|
|1/17||Essex||v Middlesex||Chelmsford||22 Mar 2013||Other OD|
As a product of the Essex youth system, Graham Napier made his mark in county cricket as an allrounder of great promise, particularly in the one-day game, where his hard-hitting batting was complemented by a nifty line in seam bowling, which can prove frustratingly hard to dispatch in the closing overs of a match.
He appeared to be making a steady rise to prominence when, in July 2004, he was named in a pool of 30 players for the Champions Trophy. In 2003, he equalled the highest number of wickets taken by an Essex player in a one-day league campaign (33), and was subsequently selected for the ECB academy tour of Malaysia and India in early 2004.
But injury problems mounted and he slipped well down the Essex pecking order, to the point where he wasn't even sure of his place in the team. A few difficult seasons followed, but in 2008 he wrote his name in the record books with an astonishing 152 against Sussex in a Twenty20, which included a world record 16 sixes. That innings drew the attention of England and also Mumbai Indians, the IPL franchise, and in 2009 he was named in England's World Twenty20 squad.
In spite of continuing good Twenty20 performances for Essex and Central Districts in New Zealand, he was left out of England's initial 30 for the 2010 World Twenty20. Napier stated his determination to prove the selectors wrong, but was then dealt a heavy blow when, in June 2010, he suffered a stress fracture to his back, ending his season. But he made a mark immediately upon his return to the county game, thrashing 196 against Surrey at Whitgift School - a knock which equalled Andrew Symonds' world record for the most sixes in a first-class innings with 16 towering blows.
Napier may never have earned an international cap, but he is established as a huge crowd favourite at Essex, enthralling Chelmsford in Twenty20s in a way reminiscent of a homegrown star at West Ham. In 2012, he enjoyed a benefit year at Essex. It also proved his best first-class season yet, averaging 33 with the bat and 23 with the ball.
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