Richard James Gleeson
December 02, 1987, Blackpool, Lancashire
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast medium
Richard Gleeson made his debut in international cricket at the age of 34 - and dismissed Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant within his first eight balls. It was the culmination of an extraordinary rise through the ranks: he was a late-bloomer, who made his first professional appearance aged 27 as a trialist at Northamptonshire, and had nearly quick the game altogether the previous winter due to injury.
Gleeson proved himself an integral part of Northamptonshire's NatWest T20 Blast side in 2016. He missed Finals Day - their third in four years and one in which they emerged victorious - but he had done much to get them there, showing splendid economy levels, under six an over, with aggressive, full-length bowling and mastery of the yorker under pressure. It was all enough to win him a berth with Rangpur Riders in the 2016 Bangladesh Premier League.
Northants' straitened financial circumstances meant that Gleeson, a former Minor Counties stalwart with Cumberland, played for them across all formats on a match-by-match basis in 2016, but he impressed enough to win a three-year contract at the end of the season. The following season, his coach David Ripley even called for England to give him a Twenty20 debut. The recommendation that went unheeded but in only a year he had made quite an impact.
With that three-year contract complete, Northants' good work had invited interest from several higher-spending counties. Gleeson returned to Lancashire before the end of the 2018 season but the thought that he might help save them from relegation proved to be far-fetched. His parting gift to Northants was his best innings and match figures in first-class cricket - 6 for 79 and 9 for 95 respectively - against Kent at Canterbury. He then returned north to Old Trafford where he had once worked as a community coach and wondered if he would ever make the grade.
His performances for Lancashire were enough to earn him further franchise opportunities, in the Abu Dhabi T10 and for Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash, as well as call-ups to the England Lions squad for their tour to Australia in 2020 and to England's enlarged training squad later in the year. He suffered a stress fracture in his back on his return to county cricket, and a recurrence the following year which left him fighting for his future as a pro.
In 2022, Lancashire signed him on a T20-only contract and he juggled training with teaching commitments at Myerscough College in Preston, where he worked part-time. But he started the Blast brilliantly, earning his England call-up, and was a travelling reverse as they won the T20 World Cup in Australia the following winter.ESPNcricinfo staff
Richard Gleeson Career Stats
Batting & Fielding
Explore Statsguru Analysis
Debut/Last Matches of Richard Gleeson
List A Matches