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Full name Billy Ashley Godleman
Born February 11, 1989, Camden, London
Current age 25 years 202 days
Major teams England Under-19s, Essex, Middlesex, Middlesex 2nd XI
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
Height 6 ft 3 in
Education Islington Green School
|First-class debut||Cambridge UCCE v Middlesex at Cambridge, Jun 1-3, 2005 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Derbyshire v Glamorgan at Derby, Jul 20-22, 2014 scorecard|
|List A debut||Hampshire v Middlesex at Southampton, Apr 22, 2007 scorecard|
|Last List A||Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire at Nottingham, Aug 26, 2014 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Middlesex v Kent at Lord's, Jun 30, 2006 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Worcestershire v Derbyshire at Worcester, Jul 25, 2014 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|25||Derbyshire||v Notts||Nottingham||26 Aug 2014||LA|
|96||Derbyshire||v Gloucs||Derby||21 Aug 2014||LA|
|36||Derbyshire||v Yorkshire||Scarborough||13 Aug 2014||LA|
|22||Derbyshire||v Northants||Northampton||11 Aug 2014||LA|
|23||Derbyshire||v Lancashire||Derby||7 Aug 2014||LA|
|14*||Derbyshire||v Worcs||Worcester||31 Jul 2014||LA|
|43||Derbyshire||v Leics||Leicester||27 Jul 2014||LA|
|5||Derbyshire||v Hampshire||Derby||26 Jul 2014||LA|
|26||Derbyshire||v Worcs||Worcester||25 Jul 2014||T20|
|10, 0||Derbyshire||v Glamorgan||Derby||20 Jul 2014||FC|
Not many youngsters could boast a county contract at the age of 17 but Billy Godleman was an exception. In 2005, he became the second-youngest first-class debutant for Middlesex (behind his team-mate also on debut, Steven Finn), whereupon he impressed with an unbeaten 69 against Cambridge at Fenners after previously making three hundreds for Middlesex 2nd XI and earning a 1st XI call-up.
Born in Camden and raised in Islington, Godleman was identified by David English as a future England player when aged 15 at a Bunbury Festival, a testament to the hard work both he and his father - a London taxi driver - put into his development. He went on to represent England schools at Under-15s, 16s, 17s and 18s level,
He just missed out on a place in England's Under-19s squad for the 2005-06 season but when eventually selected in 2007, made his mark with an unbeaten 149 in an ODI against Pakistan - the highest Youth ODI innings for England. That summer was his breakthrough year as he made 842 first-class runs at 38.27, including a maiden century, against Somerset at Taunton. He passed 50 in his first five first-class innings. A place in the squad for the 2008 Under-19 World Cup followed.
In 2008 he could not match the tally of his debut season, scoring 736 runs at 29.44, and struggled to find a place in the Middlesex first XI the following season, prompting a move to Essex in August 2009.
Back playing regularly in the County Championship, Godleman failed to live up to his early promise. He also had disciplinary problems, punished by Essex along with his team mate Tom Westley after damaging a dressing room after he was given out during a 2nd XI match at Coggeshall. After three disappointing seasons, he was dropped before being released by Essex at the end of 2012.
He sought the help of freelance coach Neil Burns and found a new contract with Derbyshire - moving back to Division One for 2013. Derbyshire experienced the same frustrations that had been felt by Essex as Godleman, a batsman not short of shots, repeatedly failed to make good his talent, getting out when reasonably well set. He was dropped in mid-season with his coach Dave Houghton urging him to learn the art of accumulation in difficult circumstances and suggesting that it was only a matter of time before "the floodgates open".
ESPNcricinfo staff - January 2014
NBC Denis Compton Award 2005
NBC Denis Compton Award 2007
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?