Matthew William Parkinson
October 24, 1996, Bolton, Lancashire
Right hand bat
A chirpy legspinner from Bolton, Matt Parkinson was the most prolific white-ball wicket-taker in the country for two seasons before earning an England call-up for the 2019-20 tour of New Zealand. Unlike most modern wristspinners, Parkinson bowls slowly and tosses the ball up above the eyeline, relying on prodigious natural turn and drift rather than pace and variations to take his wickets.
Parkinson became the youngest Lancashire player to take five wickets on debut when he claimed 5 for 49 against Warwickshire in 2016 as a 19-year-old, but it was in white-ball cricket that he really grew to prominence. He won an ECB overseas placement with Gordon, the New South Wales club side for 2016-17, and spent time working with Stuart MacGill while in Australia.
England Lions recognition soon followed, and he was the leading spinner in both limited-overs competitions in 2018. That prompted some interest from IPL teams, and he missed out on a Big Bash stint with Melbourne Stars due to a stress fracture in his lower back.
He recovered in time to take 21 Blast wickets in 2019 and send Lancashire through to the quarter-finals, and while Championship opportunities were limited, he impressed enough in his few appearances to earn an England call-up for both T20I and Test squads.
He took five wickets in his six overs when handed a T20I debut in New Zealand, though the tour to South Africa that followed was less successful: his (lack of) pace came under scrutiny during his two ODI appearances, and he was leap-frogged by Dom Bess in the Test reckoning.
An ankle injury suffered in England's limited-overs bubble set him back in 2020 and he carried the drinks throughout the subcontinent tour in early 2021. Upon his return to Lancashire, he bowled a ball-of-the-century contender in the first month of the Championship season, which pitched outside leg and pegged back Adam Rossington's off stump.
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