Jack Tony Arthur Burnham
January 18, 1997, Durham
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
Deerness Valley Comprehensive School, Durham
Jack Burnham had marked himself out as a one to watch at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, when his tally of 418 runs with three centuries surpassed the previous best for England - set by no less a batsman than Alastair Cook. However, his career suffered a considerable setback in 2017, when he tested positive for a third time for recreational drugs. That resulted in a season-long ban, but Durham stood by him and he was able to make an encouraging return in 2019.
A middle-order batsman of fine potential, Burnham returned home from Bangladesh to fill Durham's No. 4 spot, aged just 19. He delivered a maiden first-class hundred in a Championship match against Surrey at The Oval and a solid season underlined his promise.
But 2017 was stop-start, with the real reasons only revealed at the end of the summer. His first two positive drugs tests had remained confidential under ECB guidelines (a three-week absence on the second occasion was conveniently explained away by a broken finger, which he had suffered at the time), but his misdemeanours were finally made public in October when his ban was announced.
Burnham's year in the wilderness involved moving back home, time spent labouring for a friend's firm - "to go away and see what other people have to do to make the money to get by in life was a big eye-opener" - and rehabilitation work with the Professional Cricketers' Association. Although there was no fairytale hundred in his comeback summer, 598 runs at 27.18 hinted at better things to come.
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