Alexander William Rodgerson Barrow
May 06, 1992, Bath, Somerset
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
Alex Barrow's wicketkeeping opportunities at Somerset were initially limited by the presence of Jos Buttler and Craig Kieswetter, two players with England caps and a strong batting suit. When Buttler left for Lancashire and Kieswetter was forced to retire because of injury, his way was clear, but his form lapsed at the wrong time and he left the county by mutual agreement at the end of 2016.
Most of Barrow's early appearances came as a specialist batsman, a role he found demanding. Even with Buttler and Kieswetter departed, Somerset loaned Michael Bates, a fine wicketkeeper but with no batting pretensions, to put him under pressure. At least he could console himself that one drop - a legside fumble at Trent Bridge or which James Taylor was initially given out - caused his sportsmanship to be extolled when he called Taylor back to the crease, but his bemused response at the praise suggested he would rather have caught it.
Somerset's signing of Ryan Davies, a teenaged keeper from Kent, mean he faced fierce competition for his place in 2016 and he made only one Championship and four Royal London appearances. Steve Davies was then also signed from Surrey as Somerset sought a wicketkeeper with proven batting power, leaving Barrow to decide it was time to move on.
Barrow graduated through the Somerset system and left King's School, Taunton, with quite a reputation: he averaged 160 for them in his last season of 2012 and represented England U19 making a half-century on debut against Sri Lanka.
After signing his first contract in 2010, he made his first-class debut against Hampshire the following season. His maiden first-class 50 came as an opening batsman, standing in for the injured Marcus Trescothick, against Yorkshire in September. But only four of his first 50 first-class innings were half-centuries. He averaged just 12.40 in nine Championship matches in 2012 and 23.62 from 10 first-class games in 2013. An unbeaten 83 against Durham, an innings that helped Somerset secure a draw to shore-up their Division One status, was a highlight. He was also involved in a controversy when the victim of a 'mankading' by Murali Kartik while playing in a Championship match against Surrey.
Barrow underwent shoulder surgery ahead of the 2012 season and knee surgery after it. He was used by England as a substitute fielder during the 2014 Lord's Test against India and won a further opportunity for Somerset when Kieswetter sustained a head injury midway through the season. He responded with an innings of 88 - his highest to date - against Northants, although it was not enough to retain his place once Kieswetter recovered fitness.
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