Steven Michael Davies
June 17, 1986, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
Left hand bat
King Charles 1 School
In a short international limited-overs career Steven Davies felt the benefit and pain the merry-go-round selection policy that England wicketkeepers have been subjected to. He made a surprise international debut in a Twenty20 against West Indies in Trinidad in 2009 but was soon replaced by Craig Kieswetter as England went on to lift the World Twenty20 in 2010.
Davies then replaced Kieswetter in the 50-over side and travelled to Australia in 2010-11 as England's first-choice wicketkeeper in limited-overs cricket and back-up to Matt Prior in the Test squad. Just one game into the seven-match ODI that series that preceded the World Cup, Davies was unexpectedly dumped from the team and replaced by Prior who went on to the World Cup without much success.
Davies had long been earmarked as a player with England potential. It was clear he had talent when he finished above Graeme Hick in the Worcestershire averages in his debut season in 2005, and he was selected for the National Academy and toured the West Indies with England A that winter. A former England Under-19 captain, Davies has impressed everyone who has come across him and, vitally, his glovework is an excellent standard. At the end of the 2009 season, sensing a need to challenge himself, Davies moved from Worcestershire to Surrey where he has been given the responsibility of batting in the top order.
A stylish left-handed batsman, he is particularly fluent through the offside but his tendency to hit the ball in the air has prevented him from nailing down an international position.
In February 2011 Davies became the first international cricketer to announce that he was gay, choosing to reveal the fact in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. He had come out to his family five years earlier and was also already out to his teammates.
The following year, Davies was badly affected by the death of his teammate and friend Tom Maynard, even considering his future in the game. He responded emphatically in 2013, though his stylish runs could not prevent Surrey from being relegated. At the start of 2014, he was regarded by many as a viable candidate for the Test gloves. To the surprise of many, including Surrey, he gave up the gloves early in the season, requesting to be picked as a specialist batsman instead. While he was certainly a good enough batsman to justify that - his first-class average hovered around 40 at the time - the decision effectively consigned his England career to the past. The nagging sense was that while Davies was one of the most aesthetically pleasing players on the county circuit, he was yet to fulfil his potential.
Davies' uncertainty over his future role caused him to leave Surrey for Somerset at the end of 2016, the best memory of his farewell season an impeccable century against Yorkshire in the Royal London Cup semi-final at Headingley to take Surrey to their second successive Lord's final. His first season with Somerset began with a loss of form with the bat but 142 against a former county, Surrey, set him on his way and another Taunton hundred, this time against Lancashire, persuaded onlookers that all would be well.
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