|Full Name||Gareth Cross|
|DoB||20th June 1984|
Wicketkeeper Gareth Cross was given his chance to play regular first-team cricket for Lancashire in 2011, and he certainly made the most of it!
The Bury-born gloveman, stuck behind Luke Sutton in the pecking order for Championship cricket since the start of 2006, played in every game bar one, only being rested for a dead Clydesdale Bank 40 clash against Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay.
Despite Cross admitting that he would have liked more than the 557 Championship runs he accrued - a total boosted by a fine career best 125 against Sussex at Hove - he was named as the Professional Cricketers Association's Wicketkeeper of the Year.
Since making his Championship debut at the back end of 2005 due to a broken finger for Warren Hegg, Cross has at least been seen as the club's number one Twenty20 keeper.
His Championship appearances were restricted, but he managed a run of games in 2006 when Sutton broke a finger too.
Not only did he excel behind the stumps, but he also made an impact with the bat by hitting a couple of lusty fifties against Kent and Sussex, taking a shine to Mushtaq Ahmed at Hove in the latter clash.
He didn't play any Championship cricket in 2007, 2008 or 2009, being restricted to appearances in the University friendlies against Durham at the Racecourse ground.
And, while he impressed in one-day cricket in 2007 with quick-fire innings of 62 and 76 against Warwickshire in 20 and 40-over cricket, he struggled to match that in the following two summers.
At least he gave himself the ideal platform to shine ahead of the 2009 campaign by going over to St Kilda in Melbourne to play grade cricket, claiming the prestigious Jack Ryder Medal for the Player of the Year. Paul Collingwood has also won the same gong.
In a previous spell with the Australian grade club, Cross kept to Shane Warne in the nets. It meant that, having kept to Muttiah Muralitharan at Lancashire as well, he had kept to the best two spinners in the world.
Another graduate from Lancashire's youth set-up, Cross was finally given a chance in the Championship side as a specialist batsman following a few injuries midway through the 2010 summer - and he again showed that he was up to the task of playing at that level.
Having hit a six off the penultimate ball of a Twenty20 match to beat Warwickshire earlier in the summer (he won the Champagne Moment award as a result), he scored a maiden century on his return to the four-day side against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.
He also hit an important fifty in a win against Kent at Canterbury, and was handed the gloves on a full-time basis when Derbyshire bound Sutton announced his intention to leave the club in August.
Cross, seen as a valuable ally for skipper Chapple when it comes to tactical decisions, continued his fine form into 2011, scoring one hundred and two fifties in the Championship. He also claimed an impressive 46 catches and 10 stumpings.
The 2012 campaign was by no means as successful for Cross. Not only did the club lose their Division One status in the Championship, but Cross fell just short of 500 runs and only took 28 catches and three stumpings.
But, after a memorable 75 not out in a rearguard action with Paul Horton to help secure a Championship draw against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in May, he scored two fifties in his last three innings to end the campaign on a high and boost his confidence ahead of a crucial 2013 season.
(c) Lancashire County Cricket Club Ltd