Christopher Julian Clement Wright
July 14, 1985, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
Wrighty, The Baron
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Eggars Grammar School, Alton
Informed that he was to be released by Essex towards the end of the 2011 season, it seemed Chris Wright's career was drifting to an inglorious conclusion. While Gloucestershire expressed an interest in signing him, he had already passed through the systems of three clubs - Hampshire, where he played for the youth teams but wasn't deemed worthy of a contract; Middlesex and Essex - without making the impact he would have liked. The tag "journeyman seamer" sat uncomfortably on his shoulders.
But Essex's decision provided a new opportunity. Graeme Welch, who had worked with Wright as bowling coach at Essex and had moved on to take a similar role at Warwickshire, eventually persuaded - it took three attempts - Ashley Giles, the director of cricket at Edgbaston, to take Wright on loan until the end of the 2011 season. Wright responded with two five-wicket hauls in his first three Championship matches and was rewarded with a new three-year contract.
The 2012 season was even better. Wright, given the new ball, bowled with pace, persistence and skill to take 62 Division One wickets and played a huge role in Warwickshire winning the County Championship title. He was also successful in the CB40 and, but for an injury sustained midway through the Lord's final, might have finished the season as the leading wicket-taker in the competition and as a double trophy winner. His success won him a place in the England Performance Programme and established him in the pecking order as a potential international bowler, before a stress fracture that forced him to miss much of the 2013 season arrested his progress. Just as he returned to something approaching his best in 2014, he was struck down by a similar injury.
By 2018, the emergence of Henry Brookes and Olly Stone, among others, meant Wright was no longer guaranteed a first-team place at the club in all formats (he did not play limited-overs cricket at all in his final season), and he joined Leicestershire on a two-year contract.
Earlier in his career, Wright played for Cambridge UCCE (now known as MCCU) and spent 2005-06 playing domestic cricket for Tamil Union in Sri Lanka. After struggling to win an opportunity at Middlesex, he signed for Essex at the end of 2007 and went on to play in the team that won the Friends Provident Trophy final at Lord's against Kent in 2008 and reached T20 finals day in 2010. But, with Essex signing the likes of Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Charl Willoughby, Wright's chances were limited and he was obliged to seek new opportunities.
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