Oliver Peter Stone
October 09, 1993, Norwich, Norfolk
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
Olly Stone's injury-troubled career was encapsulated by his last moments as a Northants player. He damaged anterior cruciate ligaments and damaged his cartilage when he landed awkwardly while celebrating the dismissal of Moeen Ali in a NatWest Blast tie against Worcestershire and missed the rest of the season in embarrassing circumstances. The possibility that he could spend up to a year out of the game did not dissuade nine counties from chasing his signature before he opted to join Warwickshire on a three-year deal.
England were watching Stone's recovery with concern, too, because he bowled some of the fastest spells in county cricket in 2015 and was selected for an England Performance Programme development camp bin South Africa before he was beset by the back trouble that had also afflicted him earlier in his career. The highlight was a career-best 5 for 44 against Kent, extolled by his captain Alex Wakely as one of the quickest spells he had seen while in the field.
Stone, from Norwich, starred for England Under-19s on their tour of South Africa in February 2013 and registered the best match bowling figures for England in a youth Test with a return of 11 for 79 against South Africa Under-19s in Paarl. He broke the record set by Richard Pearson in 1991. He also filled in as skipper for Shiv Thakor. Northants increasingly benefited from his developing threat. In five Championship matches in Northants' abject Division One season in 2014 he was not overawed by the experience and, approaching his 21st birthday, finished top of the county's Championship averages.
His comeback eventually came mid-way through the 2017 season. While he managed just one first-class game that season, he bowled with impressive pace - in excess of 92 mph - as part of the Birmingham side that made it to the final of the Blast T20 competition to provide a reminder of his enduring qualities.
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