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Stuart Meaker

England|Bowler
Stuart Meaker
INTL CAREER: 2011 - 2012
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Full Name

Stuart Christopher Meaker

Born

January 21, 1989, Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa

Age

33y 121d

Batting Style

Right hand Bat

Bowling Style

Right arm Fast medium

Playing Role

Bowler

Height

6ft 1in

Education

Cranleigh School

TEAMS

When Stuart Meaker was called up for England's Test series in India in 2012, having made his ODI debut a year earlier, he was considered among the most exciting quick-bowling prospects in the land, a skiddy bowler blessed with authentic pace comfortably above 90mph, although suggestions that he was clocked at 96mph may be overcooking it. Injuries then took their toll, leaving him with a challenging task just to keep his county career on track, but always with the knowledge that England's interest had never entirely waned.

Meaker's succession of injuries, some of which needs surgery, was so bad that he felt he was "bordering on the yips". He was unsure whether injuries had curtailed his speed and effectiveness or whether his technique and confidence had simply deteriorated. He became prone to great inconsistency from one day to the next. "It was a very bad place for me," he said. Although a long way from England contention, Meaker reanalysed his action with the help of Kevin Shine, England's fast bowling coach, at the national performance centre in Loughborough and England Lions came calling again in 2016 after a solid Championship season for Surrey which brought him 37 wickets at 31.

Pietermaritzburg-born and raised before his family moved to England in 2001, and a graduate of Cranleigh School, in 2003 he won the Telegraph fast bowling award, the Channel 4 outstanding team player award and the AA Thompson fielding award. He finished his school career by winning the EW Swanton cricket prize and within a fortnight of leaving he received an England Under-19s call-up, having played some pre-season friendlies for Surrey. He made his Surrey debut as a 19-year-old in 2008 and had a spell in grade cricket that winter in Sydney, returning in 2009 with better accuracy to join his pace. Meaker was also the first recipient of the ECB's Harold Larwood Fast Bowling Scholarship to Australia and despite struggling, with the rest of his team-mates, in 2010 made an excellent start to the 2011 season. His efforts bore fruit when he made his debut for England Lions against Sri Lanka A that summer and he was then capped twice by England in the ODI series in India at the end of the season.

In 2011, Meaker took 44 Championship wickets at 22.56; a year later, he returned identical figures. Still below his mid-20s, it was compelling stuff. "I was flying: swinging the ball both ways, knocking people's poles over for fun and thinking this is fantastic, I'm the new Allan Donald," he said. He continued to interest England, playing in two T20s at the end of another India tour in 2012. But his progress was undermined by repeated injuries and, on the rare occasions he was fit, a tendency to bowl too many four balls striving for extra pace.

A knee operation at the end of the 2013 season scuppered his chances of an Ashes series in Australia. On other occasions, his injuries just made him seem unfortunate. He was struck in the groin in pre-season nets in 2016 and realised that he was not wearing a box. He needed an emergency operation and by the time he returned for Surrey he felt that, at 27, even his county career could not be entirely guaranteed, but recovered form enough to fire up his ambitions yet again of a bright future. His captain, Gareth Batty, told him just to run in and bowl fast, and the hope was that the swing and consistency that had also characterised him at his peak would return.

But despite a decent Blast in 2017, he struggled for regular cricket over the next few seasons due to a combination of inconsistency and regular injuries. He left The Oval despite having a year left on his contract ahead of the 2020 season, moving to Sussex in an attempt to get his career back on track.


ESPNcricinfo staff

Career Averages
Bowling
FormatMatInnsBallsRunsWktsBBIBBMAveEconSR4w5w10w
ODI2211411021/451/4555.005.7857.0000
T20I22477021/281/2835.008.9323.5000
FC981611485794512908/5211/16732.583.8151.216112
List A736727622842804/374/3735.526.1734.5400
T203230519774264/304/3029.768.9419.9100
Batting & Fielding
FormatMatInnsNORunsHSAveBFSR100s50s4s6sCtSt
ODI220211.001612.50000000
T20I2-----------10
FC981322616649415.69426838.98062223220
List A733818198509.9031263.4601132210
T203211646179.2038121.050051130
Stuart Christopher Meaker
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Photos
Stuart Meaker was making his Sussex debut
Stuart Meaker moved to Sussex in a bid to revive his career
Stuart Meaker says the highs and lows of cricket are the most challenging part of the game
Stuart Meaker in action for Sussex
Stuart Meaker bowls James Vince
Stuart Meaker shies as Liam Dawson dives for his crease