Samuel Robert Hain
July 16, 1995, Hong Kong
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Middle order Batter
The Southport School, Gold Coast, Queensland
Sam Hain had been tipped for the top long before, aged 18 years and 336 days, he broke Ian Bell's records to become the youngest man to score a first-class and County Championship century for Warwickshire. It was only his fifth first-class innings. Later in that same 2014 season, Hain also became the youngest Warwickshire player (at 19 years and 57 days) to score a first-class double-century for the club. On both occasions, Northants were the opponents. He finished the season with four first-class centuries - including one on debut at Lord's - as Warwickshire's highest run-scorer in the Championship campaign and as the third youngest man in the history of the County Championship to have made a double-century.
Born in Hong Kong to two British parents, Hain was brought up, for the most part, in Australia and fast-tracked into their Under-19 side as a 16-year-old. But his life was changed forever when, on an exchange scheme at Loretto School in Edinburgh, he was spotted by former Warwickshire captain Michael Powell, who was coaching there. Hain was sent for trials at Warwickshire where former England allrounder Rikki Clarke rated his new colleague's batting in the nets as the best he had ever seen. Hain made his debut for the club's 2nd XI that year and impressed sufficiently to win Warwickshire's most promising young player award. He continued his progress by topping the county's Championship batting averages - for regular players, at least - in 2015.
He dispelled any doubts about his allegiance to England after scoring his maiden century, saying: "I'm a fair dinkum pom, to say the least. The Australia Under-19 thing happened, but I was always set to play in England, ever since I was 14." He qualified for England at the end of 2016, and became a regular feature in Lions squads from 2018 onwards, primarily in one-day cricket but also against the red ball. He was named in an enlarged training squad for the 2020 summer, but did not make the final cut ahead of the ODIs against Ireland, even with a number of senior players missing.
Hain struggled for runs in the Championship from 2016, but recovered in 2019, his runs helping to keep Warwickshire in Division One. But his 50-over form was remarkable, scoring low-risk runs on a regular basis but rotating the strike against spin in the middle overs of an innings. As of early 2021, he had the highest List A average of all time. In T20 cricket, he was a mainstay of the Birmingham Bears side but his low-ish strike rate meant that he was not picked up in the first two drafts for the Hundred.
Batting & Fielding