James Edward Charles Franklin
November 07, 1980, Wellington
Left hand Bat
Left arm Medium
James Franklin began his New Zealand career as a left-arm medium-fast bowler who could swing the ball, before morphing into an effective allrounder, particularly in limited-overs cricket. He was introduced to international cricket when barely out of his teens after New Zealand suffered a run of injuries, making his one-day debut in 2000-01 and playing two home Tests against Pakistan the same season, but he struggled to make an impact and lost his place after the Sharjah Cup in April 2002. Back in domestic cricket he worked on his batting, which he had neglected, and filled out generally.
He returned to the side in England in 2004. He was playing league cricket in Lancashire, but was called up when Shane Bond went home with a back injury. Franklin was included for the third Test at Trent Bridge, and although New Zealand lost he did his cause no harm with six wickets, five of them Test century-makers. He stayed on for the one-dayers that followed, and picked up the match award at Chester-le-Street for his 5 for 42 as England were skittled for 101.
He was retained for the tour of Bangladesh, and took a hat-trick at Dhaka. Back home he took 6 for 119 against Australia in March 2005, and bowled superbly - getting the ball to reverse-swing - against Sri Lanka a month later, although his figures didn't reflect his excellence. More wickets followed against West Indies, then in April 2006 Franklin did his allrounder claims no harm with an unbeaten 122 - and a stand of 256 with Stephen Fleming - against South Africa at Cape Town.
A knee injury hampered his 2006-07 season and he underwent surgery for a patella tendon injury in his right knee. Franklin eased back into competitive cricket by playing Twenty20 and one-day games for Australian Capital Territory and representing New Zealand in the Emerging Players tour of Queensland in October 2008. He made his first-class comeback for Wellington in November with 69 and 4 for 56 in his team's innings victory over Canterbury.
He returned to the international team later the same year but struggled to nail down a permanent place, despite performing strongly in county cricket for Gloucestershire in 2009 and 2010. He was part of the New Zealand side that made it to the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup and expressed his disappointment at missing out on a central contract, though he regained a deal the following year. By this point, Franklin had developed into an allrounder capable of scoring useful runs down the order and bowling economical spells and he remains a fixture in the T20 and ODI teams, although a Test return was less successful.
Middlesex signed Franklin in 2015 as an on-overseas player thanks to his Irish ancestry, effectively bringing about his retirement from international cricket. Adam Voges' call-up by Australia meant that he soon assumed the captaincy, a role he held when Middlesex won their first title for 23 years in 2016 - the title settled on the final afternoon in a contrived declaration against Yorkshire with the prize of the Championship to the winners. The contrivance ended Somerset's hopes of their first title and Franklin, who defended the artificial finale, received broad support.
Batting & Fielding