Jacob Benedict Lintott
April 22, 1993, Taunton, Somerset
Right hand Bat
Left arm Wrist spin
Queen's College, Taunton
Jake Lintott was 27 years old when he signed his first professional contract with Warwickshire ahead of the 2021 season and quickly became one of the feelgood stories of the white-ball summer. A journeyman left-arm wristspinner from Taunton, Lintott spent most of his twenties trialling with county second teams but unable to find a team who would take a punt on an idiosyncratic club bowler. England tried to use him as a net bowler to prepare to face Kuldeep Yadav during India's 2018 tour but he was unavailable. Despite a handful of first-team appearances in the T20 Blast for Hampshire and Gloucestershire, he couldn't win a deal.
Things changed in 2020. Warwickshire's coaches had seen enough during a trial the previous summer that they kept in touch with him during the Covid-19 lockdown and he formed a close relationship with Graeme Welch, the bowling coach, who held virtual training sessions with him via Zoom. He was furloughed by Queen's College Taunton, where he worked as head of cricket, and used the spare time to take up running, losing 18kg to transform himself from a "biggish lad" into someone who looked much more like a professional. He was signed on a short-term registration for the Blast and was an unlikely star, taking 10 wickets in nine games with an economy rate of 6.30.
Lintott clearly benefitted from his novelty - he was the only frontline wristspinner on the staff of a county at the time - but backed up his first full season with another impressive return in 2021. His method was simple enough, generally bowling quick, flat googlies and angling the ball across batters, but was well-researched: he spoke about long sessions with bowling coaches and analysts, staring at a laptop screen to prepare specific plans to each opposition batter. He took 15 wickets in the Blast to earn himself a 'wildcard' deal in the Hundred and after being left out for the first game of the tournament, he impressed Mahela Jayawardene sufficiently that he played every remaining Southern Brave fixture and ended the competition as their leading wicket-taker, liftning the trophy alongside Quinton de Kock, James Vince and Chris Jordan at Lord's. By that stage he had developed a cult following after being dubbed 'cricket's Jamie Vardy' by Carlos Brathwaite, his Warwickshire team-mate, and earned a gig with Barbados Royals in the CPL.
Batting & Fielding