Arron Mark Lilley
April 01, 1991, Tameside, Lancashire
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
Mossley Hollins High School
Arron Lilley, an offspinning allrounder, has primarily been used as a T20 specialist, despite showing flashes of his ability in the other formats. A T20 Blast winner with Lancashire, he was released at the end of 2018 having played just 14 first-class matches across six seasons - although two half-centuries and two five-wicket hauls suggested there was talent to work with.
He moved on to Leicestershire, where his importance continued to be as a flexible T20 option. In fact, his ability to hit a long ball took precedence, as he took up a pinch-hitting position batting in the top three and bowling only occasionally; he struck a 30-ball 66 at Trent Bridge in 2019, and then a career-best 69 from 45 against Durham the following summer, as Leicestershire reached the Blast quarter-finals (although Lilley might wish to forget a costly misfield on the boundary as his side lost narrowly to Notts).
In 2015, Lilley played a key role as Lancashire ended a 16-year wait without a limited-overs trophy by winning the NatWest Blast at Edgbaston. Lilley and his fellow spinner Stephen Parry had strangled opponents all season, both conceding less than seven runs an over, and their combination was a decisive factor on a slow surface.
Lilley, who fires in his offspin at a pace that would even have made an illustrious predecessor "Flat Jack" Simmons blush, joined Lancashire's Academy in 2011 after making his Second XI debut in 2010. He was a key member of the Lancashire side that won the Second XI Trophy in 2012, taking 19 wickets. He made his senior debut in a Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Worcestershire in the same season but the match was abandoned before he had chance to bat or bowl.
His standing grew the following season, where his bowling impressed in the limited-overs game to add to Lancashire's plentiful spin options. There was progress in the Championship, too, nothing better than a career-best 5 for 23 against Derbyshire at Southport in Lancashire's promotion year in 2015, but that did not bring regular opportunities for a county that tended to view its spinners as short-format options.
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