Henry James Hamilton Brookes
August 21, 1999, Solihull, Warwickshire
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Tudor Grange Academy, Solihull
To be branded "a potential superstar" shortly after your Championship debut is to take on big expectations, but Warwickshire's sport director Ashley Giles recognised a strong-minded talent when he made that prediction on behalf of Henry Brookes. A strikingly powerful figure from the off, Brookes' pace bowling was one of the most exciting aspects of Warwickshire's 2018 Division Two winning season.
Brookes, who has been at Warwickshire since the age of nine, made a good impression on an England Under-19 tour to India and followed up with a first team debut against Essex in late 2017.
He continued his swift ascent by winning a call-up to the England Lions squad at only 18 and with just six first-class games behind him. Blessed with decent pace - a televised game showed him bowling at 90mph - he took 21 Championship wickets at 22.38 and also made an impression in limited-overs formats, being asked to train with England ahead of a one-day series against India.
But a stress fracture curtailed his rapid progress, leaving an anxious wait before his career could resume in 2019. He performed well that season, with 32 Championship wickets in 11 games, and was a regular in the white-ball sides, earning a £40,000 deal with Birmingham Phoenix in the Hundred draft. After travelling to Australia on the Lions tour and playing in two warm-up matches, he was named in England's enlarged training group ahead of the Covid-affected home summer in 2020, and then in the ODI group ahead of their series against Ireland.
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