Thomas Christopher Smith
December 26, 1985, Liverpool
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
Parklands High School; Runshaw College
Tom Smith was thrilled to be named captain of Lancashire before the start of the 2015 season, an appointment that underlined how he had become one of their most reliable performers, but he led them in just one game before a serious back injury threatened to end his career. Smith needed surgery on a bulging disc and missed the entire season, handing over leadership duties to Steven Croft, before making an emotional return in a NatWest T20 Blast tie against Derbyshire in May 2016. "It is like making my debut all over again - with 10 years' experience behind me," he said.
Smith, a competitive and robust allrounder who has occasional caught England's interest, burst onto the scene at the start of the 2006 season after a useful England Under-19 career with impressive performances in the Championship and C&G Trophy. He is a nagging seamer with the ability to bring the ball back into the right-handers and made a habit of bowling batsmen when they leave the ball. He has talent with the bat, too, and was used to open the batting during the 2010 season with some success although he remained inconsistent. His impressive first full season was rewarded with a place in the England Academy squad.
The 2011 season brought notable progress when his contribution to the County Championship title-winning campaign combined 459 runs, including four half centuries, with 25 wickets from 12 matches. In the Clydesdale Bank 40, his 282 runs and seven wickets included a stunning all-round performance against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, when he hit 117 off 104 balls and then took 4 for 48, which made him the first Lancashire player to take four wickets and score a century in the same one-day match.
Smith was dogged by hamstring and thigh injuries in 2012, when his absences certainly contributed to Lancashire's unexpected relegation from Division One. Yet he still managed another impressive one-day feat in a CB40 match against Worcestershire at New Road, when he hit 10 sixes and eight fours in making 106 off 46 balls. The century mark was reached off 44 balls, the third quickest in one-day history in England and jointly the fifth fastest anywhere in the world.
Smith was initially left out of the side in 2013 and then further injuries restricted his involvement, although he still managed to average 48.16 with the bat and 22.63 with the ball as Lancashire won promotion. But a mixed 2014 for Lancashire, which involved relegation from the Championship and a final appearance in the NatWest T20 Blast, coincided with the best summer of Smith's career. He took 54 Championship wickets and hit 773 runs as a lower-middle order batsman, earning selection for the Lions' one-day series against the A sides of New Zealand and Sri Lanka. With Glen Chapple moving closer to retirement and the arrival of Ashley Giles as Lancashire's new head coach, Smith was given the captaincy in all formats for 2015 only to miss virtually the whole season because of back trouble.
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