Max Thomas Charles Waller
March 03, 1988, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Right hand bat
Millfield School; Bournemouth University
The career of a young wrist-spinner can be a daunting one - especially with the short boundaries and batting-friendly surfaces at Taunton - but Max Waller has gained a reputation as something of a T20 specialist and, as of the end of 2016 was second only to Alfonso Thomas as Somerset's leading wicket-taker in the history of the format.
He was an ever-present, too, in 2017, topping Somerset's wicket-taking charts, but the life of a T20 specialist seemed an uncertain one when suggestions emerged that he made not be retained, only for him ultimately to agree a new deal for 2018.
Waller developed through the Somerset youth ranks and attended Millfield School where he eventually captained the first XI. He played a few games for Somerset's 2nd XI in 2007 and impressed enough to earn his first professional contract.
He broke into the Somerset first team in 2009, making his first-class debut at Hove and playing four Championship matches that season. He was rewarded with a new two-year contract and spent the winter of 2009-10 on the ECB Performance Programme. He attended Bournemouth University and combined his studies with working part time at a local golf club.
In one-day cricket his opportunities have been greater, particularly in Twenty20 where he has a good record, took 4 for 16 against Warwickshire at Taunton in 2012 and is an excellent fielder. Throughout it all, he has retained a youthful countenance, so much so that, at 25, he recorded on Twitter that he was "left spewing" when he was refused the purchase of a 15-certificate video until he could show some ID.
With first-class opportunities largely absent at Somerset, Waller turned to Dorset and became their senior professional for the 2016 season, fulfilling that responsibility alongside his T20 exploits for Somerset.
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