Laurie John Evans
October 12, 1987, Lambeth, London
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
Whitgift School, The John Fisher School, Durham Uni
Always a player with a clear talent, it was not until after his 30th birthday that Laurie Evans began to gain worldwide recognition as a white-ball batsman of real class. Primarily a finisher for the most part of his limited-overs career, Evans batted with maturity and poise at No. 3 for Sussex in the 2018 T20 Blast and finished as the tournament's leading run-scorer, opening up opportunities in the Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Caribbean Premier Leagues as well as the Pakistan Super League over the next 12 months.
Evans only took up cricket seriously as a 15-year-old, having played at scrumhalf in the Harlequins academy until a series of shoulder injuries provided his rugby career with a setback. He developed into a stylish batsman while at Whitgift School and was soon drafted into the Surrey academy set-up. He spent a year at Durham University, and a century against Lancashire for the MCCU side in his second first-class match convinced him to drop out and take his chances with Surrey.
But the move backfired as he fell out of favour with director of cricket Chris Adams, and was released in 2010 despite prolific second-team form. He joined Warwickshire at the end of the year, and eventually broke through in 2013, scoring three hundreds and 950 runs in the first-class season.
He struggled to nail down a spot in the Championship side from that point onwards, but was man-of-the-match for a 28-ball half-century as Birmingham won the Blast in 2014. His highest Championship score of 213 came in a draw with Sussex at Edgbaston in 2015, but opportunities in first-class cricket continued to be limited, and he joined Sussex in 2017.
His first season at Hove was relatively quiet, despite good 50-over form, but in 2018 his T20 runs paved the way for him to prove himself on the global franchise circuit. After 13 runs in five innings for Rajshahi Kings in the 2018-19 BPL, he made a maiden T20 hundred against Comilla Victorians as an opener, and impressed for St Kitts and Nevis in the CPL after another solid white-ball season for Sussex.
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