Karl Robert Brown
May 17, 1988, Bolton, Lancashire
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
Hesketh Fletcher CE, Atherton, Lancashire
Karl Brown gained a professional contract with Lancashire in 2006 after coming through the Academy system. He also gained England Under-19 representative honours but his progress was frustratingly slow: by the time he won his county cap at the end of 2015, he had spent a decade in the game.
Until Brown's breakthrough season in 2011 - Lancashire's Championship year - he had only played six Championship and 10 limited-overs matches, but he kicked on that year and was at the crease with Steven Croft when Lancashire claimed their first outright title for 77 years. After catching the eye in a friendly against Oxford University at The Parks he was rewarded with the No. 3 slot for the season-opener against Sussex, to which he responded with a maiden century as Lancashire began their title-winning season with a resounding win. He kept his place for all 16 Championship matches, finishing with 888 runs and was named the county's Young Player of the Year.
Increasingly, though, it was his limited-overs form that sustained his career. As Lancashire yo-yoed between Divisions One and Two of the Championship between 2012 and 2014, his average declined, reaching barely double figures in six matches in 2014: his four-day game had stalled. In one-day cricket, though, he fared much better, leading Lancashire's challenge in both T20 and 50-over cricket in 2014 and being an important component of the side that reached T20 finals day at Edgbaston.
He started the 2015 campaign out of the side, but was given his chance in Lancashire's problematic opening spots when Luis Reece broke his hand and took it, scoring his first century since the Championship-winning year, averaging 45 and winning his county cap. At 27, potentially he still had many good years ahead and Ashley Giles, Lancashire's director of cricket, even suggested England honours were not out of the question. But Giles departed back to Warwickshire and a year later he was used exclusively in limited-overs cricket.
Brown was released by Lancashire in 2018.
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