Jack Alexander Brooks
June 04, 1984, Oxford
Right hand bat
Right arm medium fast
Jack Brooks, aka The Headband Warrior, was one of the leading lights in Yorkshire's Championship wins of 2014 and 2015. His 68 wickets were only outdone by Steve Magoffin, Sussex's Australian seamer, in 2014 and he had the fourth highest tally the following year. His full-of-a-length attacking style endeared him to the Yorkshire public as he confirmed not only his talent but a crowd-pleasing nature that refuted suggestions that there were no characters left on the county circuit.
A village cricketer until the age of 20, Brooks made his way through Minor County Oxfordshire and Surrey's second XI before he was signed by Northamptonshire after impressing at a net trial in 2008. From that point his do-or-die bowling style and distinctive white headband made him one of the characters of the county circuit.
He soon slotted into the second XI as an energetic right-arm seamer and competent batsman at No. 8 or 9, and his potential allround value was evident from his very first game for the second XI, in which he cracked 43 and picked up 6 for 99 against Warwickshire. The following year he made his first-class debut against the touring Australians, clean bowling Andrew McDonald and having Mitchell Johnson caught in the slips in the course of one over.
His Championship debut a month later was even more impressive, as he picked up 4 for 76 and 1 for 38 to contribute towards a tight, two-wicket win over Derbyshire at Chesterfield. Brooks was given more opportunities in the first XI in 2010, particularly after the departure of Johan van der Wath, and started the season in pleasant circumstance, cracking his maiden first-class half-century against Gloucestershire in April as Northants won by 94 runs. Although he has struggled for incisiveness in one-day cricket, Brooks has enjoyed appreciable success in four-day and Twenty20 cricket and is maturing into a consistent performer with the new ball.
In 2011, Brooks took 43 first-class wickets at 21.90 and recorded new best figures of 5 for 23 as he helped bowl Leicestershire out for 48 at Grace Road. Following his successful season he earned a call-up to the England Performance Programme and at the end of 2012 activated a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave Northamptonshire with a view to furthering his international ambitions, choosing Yorkshire over a clutch of other counties who had expressed an interest in adding him to their squad.
He made a good impression in his first season at Yorkshire despite a season affected by a broken hand suffered against Somerset at Headingley as he almost conjured a win out of nothing. He took 34 Championship wickets and become only the second Yorkshire bowler to take five wickets in a Twenty20 match - in a home win over Leicestershire. He won his Yorkshire cap in early August. Then came his contributions to Yorkshire's back-to-back Championships as he relished the licence to hunt wickets and bring smiles from a demanding public. He suggested that he was just "a bit of a village idiot from Tiddington" who had got lucky, but even though he did not awaken England's interest - a Lions tour to South Africa apart - he was rather better than that.
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