Shivsinh Jaysinh Thakor
October 22, 1993, Leicester
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
Shiv Thakor offers promise that Leicester's sizeable Indian community can have an exciting role model. He was first involved with the county at U-9 level, but the relationship foundered at the end of the 2014 season with his fledgling career in abeyance he led an exodus from Grace Road and joined Derbyshire.
He left for Derbyshire harbouring a little resentment over the treatment of a hand injury and, in his second season in Derby, began to make a regular impact with bat and ball - one of the brighter spots in a struggling side - before a back stress fracture prematurely ended his 2016 season. A maiden limited-overs century followed against Northants the following summer.
Blessed with sporting and academic talents, Shiv Thakor demonstrated faith in his potential as a cricketer when he turned down offers to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Cardiff, Durham and Loughborough Universities in favour of a full-time commitment to Leicestershire.
Thakor became the first Leicestershire-born player to make a century on first-class debut - as well as becoming their youngest first-class century maker - with 134 against Loughborough MCCU in 2011, sharing a county record fourth-wicket partnership of 330 with James Taylor. No stranger to extraordinary feats, he also holds the distinction of being the youngest player to make a century for Leicestershire in age-group cricket, having hit a hundred against Surrey at Under-9 level, and made double hundreds for Loughborough Grammar School (237 not out for the Under-13s) and Uppingham School.
His decision to put cricket above studies came after a fine 2012 season in which he averaged 61 over 10 innings in six first-class matches, including four half-centuries, topping the Leicestershire averages in both the Championship and 40-over cricket. He displayed a sturdy technique that enabled him to make an impressive unbeaten 85 on a seaming pitch in a winning cause against Hampshire at Grace Road and to bat for seven hours in two innings against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, making 61 and 39 not out to save a draw.
After making a solid introduction to England U-19 cricket in the Test and one-day series against Sri Lanka in 2011, Thakor was surprisingly overlooked for the Under-19 World Cup in Australia in 2012. He was selected as captain for the tour of South Africa in early 2013 only to suffer a broken finger in the opening warm-up game with the ECB insisting he return to the UK to have an operation.
Surgery was delayed for nearly a year as Thakor was persuaded to manage the injury and played - against his better judgment - throughout 2013. He then needed two operations in as many months as complications set in. The result was that his following summer was also severely disrupted and he played only six List A matches with minimal success. A break with the county became inevitable.
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