Ryan Francis Higgins
January 06, 1995, Harare, Mashonaland
Right hand bat
Right arm medium fast
Ryan Higgins moved to Gloucestershire at the end of the 2017 season after struggling to break into Middlesex's first team and immediately left them rueing his departure. Over the next four years, he was the outstanding allrounder in the County Championship bowling nagging medium pace and scoring quick runs from the lower-middle order, and helped them earn promotion from Division Two in 2019.
Higgins was born in Harare before his family moved to Berkshire, making him one of the substantial number of Zimbabweans plying their trade outside the country of their birth. He made his Middlesex limited-overs debuts in 2014 and showcased his ability to clear the ropes. He was involved in a quirky incident when Middlesex played Sussex in a T20 match at Hove in 2014, a huge leg-side hit against legspinner Will Beer striking a seagull and preventing a certain boundary; the seagull, briefly brought to earth, flew off seemingly not seriously injured.
In 2016, he revealed his wicket-taking abilities too, collecting 5 for 13 against Hampshire to take Middlesex into the quarter-finals of the T20 Blast. His short-form credentials became apparent in 2017 when he smashed 68 not out off 28 balls against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham, which enticed them to lure him away from Middlesex at the end of the season - with Richard Dawson terming him: "A game-changer."
Higgins had been particularly keen to break into Middlesex's Championship side, but managed only four first-class appearances in 2017 due to their packed seam stocks. At Gloucestershire, he immediately found his way into the side and took 48 Championship wickets in his first season. The following summer, he took 50, and added 958 runs to spearhead their promotion charge. He is recognised as an underrated player on the county circuit, though at 5ft 8in and 77mph/124kph, higher honours may be a stretch.
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