Matches (16)
ENG v NZ (W) (1)
MLC (2)
ENG v SL (U19) (1)
TNPL (2)
T20 Blast (6)
ENG v WI (1)
LPL (2)
WCL 2 (1)

Full Name

Alexander Zak Lees


April 14, 1993, Halifax, Yorkshire


31y 95d

Batting Style

Left hand Bat

Bowling Style


Playing Role

Opening Batter

Alex Lees finally won senior England recognition in 2022, almost a decade on from being anointed one of the best young players in the land. His Test career started in inauspicious circumstances, as Lees averaged 21.00 (with a strike rate of 27.39) during England's 1-0 defeat in the West Indies, but he was a willing convert to the subsequent "Bazball" revolution that followed the appointment of Brendon McCullum as coach.

A Yorkshire prodigy, Lees lost his way and left his home county before rediscovering his appetite for heavy scoring at the top of the order with Durham. While his time in the England side was short-lived, he played his part as they recorded six wins out of seven at the start of McCullum's tenure - notably helping set up their record run chase of 378 against India with a crisp 56 off 65 during a century opening stand. After losing his place to Ben Duckett, he found an even higher gear back in the county game, piling up 1347 runs at 70.89 to fire Durham's 2023 promotion campaign.

Lees had been showered with accolades early in his career. Judges of the quality of Geoffrey Boycott and Michael Vaughan predicted England honours ahead and his stock was such that in 2016 he became Yorkshire's captain in both one-day formats - at 22, the youngest to hold the office, remarkably, since Lord Hawke. He led Yorkshire to only their second appearance in Twenty20 Finals Day, but his spell in the captaincy lasted only one year and was widely regarded as a mistake. Jason Gillespie left and the incoming coach, Andrew Gale, preferred one captain across all formats.

Things did not work out as planned at Yorkshire. By the time he left Headingley for Chester-le-Street in August 2018, loaned out to Durham ahead of a permanent move, he had long cut a disconsolate figure, averaging 35.10 from 82 first-class matches. Yorkshire accepted that a change was necessary, conceding that he could well excel at a new county. Durham believed that, at 25, they had signed a player who could restate his international pedigree; three hundreds in his first full season, leading the way for his new side in the Championship, suggested they might be right.

Lees, who first represented Yorkshire at Under-13 level and who went on to skipper the Academy and 2nd XI teams, made his first-class debut aged 17. After much soul-searching, he turned down a chance to represent England Under-19s at the 2012 World Cup because he had recently lost his father. The following year, he signed full professional terms and went on to become the youngest Yorkshire player to make a Championship double-century - 20 years and 95 days - when he hit an unbeaten 275 against Derbyshire at Chesterfield. He had earlier made a maiden Championship hundred against Middlesex. It was no surprise therefore to find himself on an England Lions tour to Sri Lanka early in 2014 (where he scored another hundred on debut).

Lees' part in Yorkshire's 2014 Championship triumph amplified his reputation. He did not make 1000 Championship runs, outshone statistically by his opening partner Adam Lyth, but England observers liked his style and he continued to feature for the Lions. He also claimed both the PCA and CWC Young Player awards.

The following summer was more challenging, with just one Championship hundred as Yorkshire won back-to-back titles. But the limited-overs captaincy seemed to invigorate him, and in 2016 he topped Yorkshire's run charts with 1165 runs; against Durham, he fell 12 runs shy of becoming the first batsman to make two hundreds in a first-class match at Headingley.
ESPNcricinfo staff

Alex Lees Career Stats

Batting & Fielding

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Alex Lees portrait

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Alex Lees works the ball leg side
Alex Lees' hundred underpinned the reply
Alex Lees hits through the leg side
Alex Lees and Graham Clark walk out to bat
Alex Lees attacks through the off side
Alex Lees tucked in during an innings of 79 off 85 balls