Steven Andrew Patterson
October 03, 1983, Beverley Westwood Hospital
Right hand bat
Right arm medium fast
Malet Lambert School; St Mary's Sixth Form College; Leeds University
Steven Patterson is a tall seamer who has been a largely unsung - but important - component of the Yorkshire side which, by winning back-to-back Championships in 2014 and 2015, finally fulfilled its potential. Hull has not produced many Yorkshire cricketers, but in Patterson the city had delivered a rangy bowler whose steadying influence and reliability won much professional esteem. "Patto does what Patto does," his coach Jason Gillespie was fond of saying, respect for a bowler who pounded a reliable length, nipping the ball around at a pace short of 80mph.
His standing at Yorkshire was reflected in that fact it was Patterson the club turned to in 2018, rather than more glamorous options, when Gary Ballance stepped down from the captaincy for personal reasons. He took charge as club captain across all formats the following year, and although he retired from T20 cricket in 2020, there was reward for valued service in the form of a two-year contract extension that would keep him representing the White Rose up until his 39th birthday.
Patterson made his Yorkshire debut in 2005 against Bangladesh A, but it was not until 2009 that he began to show evidence of his ability at senior level. When Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan were away on England duty in the early part of the 2010 season, Patterson seized the opportunity to impress. He finished the summer with 45 first-class victims at 26.68, as well as taking five wickets in 11 balls (a career-best 6 for 32 in all) to see off a Derbyshire challenge in a 40-over tie. After the season finished, Patterson ran the New York Marathon to raise money for the British Lung Foundation following the deaths of two cousins to lung disease.
Patterson's 2011 season was hampered by injuries and proved less successful, yielding only 21 wickets at 46.33 from 11 first-class matches, but he returned to his best and perhaps beyond in 2012 when he responded to being left out at the start of the season amid extra competition for places by topping 50 first-class wickets for the first time in his career, finishing as Yorkshire's leading wicket-taker as they achieved promotion to Division One a year after being relegated.
That improvement continued: Patterson's 48 Championship wickets at 20.81 included a career-best match haul of 8 for 94 in a comprehensive win over Leicestershire at Scarborough in May and was double the amount taken by any of his colleagues. He confirmed his reliability with similar returns in the two Championship seasons that followed, the settling influence in a powerful Yorkshire attack. When he took 6 for 56 at Chester-le-Street in 2016, it encapsulated his career - a commendably stingy performance with somebody else (in this case the England wannabe Scott Borthwick, in a dismal run of form) getting most of the attention.
One of his finest displays with the bat went a long way towards sparing Yorkshire relegation in 2017: Patterson made 44 not out from 96 for 7 to see off Warwickshire, preventing Yorkshire from sliding into the bottom two with only a game remaining. Andrew Gale, as his captain, had called him "the first name on the teamsheet". Gale was now coach but little else had changed, and the 2018 season began with Patterson's career-best 6 for 40 helping Yorkshire to victory at Chelmsford despite being dismissed for 50 in the first innings.
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