Tom Bailey, a graduate of Lancashire’s Academy and Scholarship programmes, has little first-class experience, yet he has already proved he can be a bowler of great worth to the county.
Seamer Bailey made his first-class and County Championship debut in the closing stages of the 2012 season.
He had to be patient for his next chance, which came towards the end of 2014 following an encouraging run of form in one-day cricket, taking seven wickets in four 50-over matches, including a wicket with the sixth ball of his career against Essex at Chelmsford.
He played in three Championship matches against Durham, Yorkshire and Middlesex, taking three wickets in the latter fixture as well as demonstrating his prowess as a useful lower order batsman.
The Prestonian, a product of the Vernon Carus club, has been somewhat of a late bloomer in the game. He started out as an 11-year-old, but he did not play representative cricket for the Red Rose until Under 19s level.
After his encouraging end to 2014, he was given a longer run in 2015 as Lancashire successfully claimed Championship promotion from Division Two.
He claimed a career best 5-12 as Leicestershire were bowled out for just 78 in the second innings of a landslide win at Grace Road, while he also contributed to Lancashire’s NatWest T20 Blast title success that summer.
Bailey’s 2016 campaign was heavily disrupted by a side injury, ruling him out of action for the best part of two months.
In fact, he was away from first-team action for three months.
But he made an impressive return in three Championship matches, taking 12 wickets.
His 5-111 against Somerset at Emirates Old Trafford included four wickets in seven balls, helping to secure a crucial draw in the successful bid to secure Division One status.
He also claimed 4-52 with the new ball in the final round defeat against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Sandwiched in between those matches, he also hit a maiden first-class fifty against leaders Middlesex at Emirates OId Trafford, helping to secure another crucial draw.