Gary Craig Wilson
February 05, 1986, Dundonald, Northern Ireland
Right hand bat
Methodist College, Belfast
Gary Wilson, a staple in Ireland's side, also forged a solid county career with Surrey for more than a decade until he upped sticks and joined Derbyshire in 2016 as a growing number of rivals began to gain precedence both with the bat and with the gloves. He remained at the county for two seasons before being released from his contract a year early to return to his native Ireland and join the recently-established first-class system.
Wilson gained new prominence at Surrey in 2014 when he was appointed captain to cover for Graeme Smith's premature departure. He immediately impressed with his calm and undemonstrative leadership, while his batting rose to new heights, unencumbered by the burden of keeping wicket too. He played in 60 first-class matches for Surrey, logging 2,931 runs at a shade under 40.
In his first season at Derbyshire, he skippered the county (alongside a specialist T20 coach in the New Zealander John Wright) as their reached only the second T20 quarter-final in their history.
A former MCC young cricketer, Wilson signed for Surrey in 2005 as cover for Jon Batty. His versatility has been crucial for Surrey - he has batted in the middle-order, at number seven while keeping wicket, and even had a stint opening. But it is in Twenty20 cricket that Wilson was at his most effective for Surrey, as a hard-running finisher with a wide range of shots and cool temperament, although his List A performances were bafflingly poor in county cricket.
Wilson juggled his county commitments with his career for Ireland. He featured in the Under-19s World Cup in 2004 and 2006, and broke into the full set-up after the 2007 World Cup. He had a struggle to usurp Niall O'Brien behind the stumps, but has not relinquished the position since O'Brien fell out with Phil Simmons at the start of 2012. Wilson hit his first ODI century against the Netherlands in 2010 and hit a run-a-ball 61, ended by a controversial lbw decision, to give the West Indies a scare in the 2011 World Cup.
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