|Full name||Liam Edward Plunkett|
6 April 1985 |
Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough, Teesside, England
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Bowling style||Right-arm fast|
|Test debut (cap 628)||29 November 2005 v Pakistan|
|Last Test||24 June 2014 v Sri Lanka|
|ODI debut (cap 190)||10 December 2005 v Pakistan|
|Last ODI||6 February 2011 v Australia|
|Domestic team information|
|2013–present||Yorkshire (squad no. 28)|
|Source: CricketArchive, 24 June 2014|
Liam Edward Plunkett (born 6 April 1985) is an English cricketer who bowls right-arm fast. He currently plays for Yorkshire, having previously played for Durham and Dolphins (the latter in South African domestic cricket).
Plunkett started his career with Durham, making his debut for the senior side in 2003 having played for the club's academy. In the 2005 season he was Durham's leading first-class wicket-taker, and that year was called up to the England squad to tour Pakistan in November and December where he played his first Tests and One Day Internationals (ODIs). Between November 2005 and June 2007 Plunkett played 9 Test and 27 ODIs before being dropped by England. He was part of the Durham side which won the County Championship in 2008 and again in 2009; the club had never won the title before. Plunkett played a further two ODIs, one in 2010 and another in 2011, but was not a regular member of the England team.
In 2011 and 2012, Plunkett struggled with form and played just three Championship matches fr Durham. Looking for a fresh start he changed clubs, moving from Durham to Yorkshire for the start of the 2013 season. Under the tutelage of Yorkshire coach and former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie, Plunkett's fortunes improved and he was awarded his county cap in 2013. The following year, Plunkett was recalled to the England Test team.
Primarily a bowler, Plunkett also has two first-class centuries to his name and a batting average of about 24. As proof of his worth as a tailender, after just 18 ODI games he held a part of both the 8th and 9th wicket partnership records for England.
Plunkett was called up for the England One Day International and Test squads to tour Pakistan in November & December 2005 after an injury to Simon Jones. He made his Test debut in the third Test of that series in Lahore taking figures of 2–125 in the innings defeat. Plunkett came on as a Super Sub in his first ODI on 10 December 2005 after Kevin Pietersen went off with a back injury. Plunkett finished with England's best bowling figures, taking 3 wickets for 51 runs, and he was also involved in the run out of Shoaib Akhtar. They were three of the last six wickets, which fell for 23 as England went on to win the match by 42 runs.
Two days later, when Plunkett entered the crease, England's score was a disappointing 130 for 8 in the second ODI. He added 56 runs to the total in a record ninth-wicket 100 run partnership with Vikram Solanki before chipping a return catch to Shoaib Akhtar.
England needed to keep the Pakistani run rate below five an over, however, after setting a target of 231, but Plunkett's seven overs went for 63 – Kamran Akmal taking 39 off the 25 balls Plunkett bowled to him.
He was subsequently taken on the 2005–06 tour to India. He played in the second Test at Mohali, replacing Ian Blackwell in the side. However, he was largely unimpressive, taking only one wicket and scoring just one run over two innings. He was replaced by James Anderson for the third Test.
Injuries to Steve Harmison, Anderson and Jones meant Plunkett started the first Test of the Sri Lankan tour of England in the summer of 2006. He achieved what was at the time his best figures when taking three wickets before lunch against in the second Test at Edgbaston. This included a double wicket maiden in his first over of the day, dismissing Michael Vandort and Mahela Jayawardene.
Plunkett did not feature in another ODI match until 30 January 2007, against New Zealand in Perth, Australia. He took 3 wickets for 54 runs in 9 overs. He was also picked in the next game against Australia on 2 February 2007 in Sydney. He took 3 wickets for 34 runs off 9.5 overs. Perhaps the highlight of Plunkett's bowling was the wicket of stand in captain and wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist. Plunkett bowled Gilchrist with the very first ball of Australia's innings. He also took the wickets of Michael Clarke and Glenn McGrath.
In February 2007, Plunkett was banned from driving for twenty months, after being convicted for a drink driving offence in October 2006. In August 2012 he was convicted of a second drink driving offence and banned from driving for 40 months.
Plunkett signed for the Nashua Dolphins in November 2007, fellow Durham fast bowler Steve Harmison signed for Highveld Lions. Harmison and Plunkett actually played against each other in a four-day match on 15–18 November 2007.
In October 2012, Plunkett signed to play for Yorkshire. He stated, "At this stage of my career, I believe that a fresh challenge would benefit me and I feel this is required to help me reach my goal of representing my country again". In his first season at Yorkshire, Plunkett played in 12 of the club's 16 matches in the County Championship, managing to take 36 wickets. He credits Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire's coach and former Australia international fast bowler, with helping him regain his confidence and felt that his problems had been exacerbated by over-coaching. In an interview in June 2014 Plunkett explained "Different coaches told me different things and when you're a youngster you're like a sponge and take a lot of things in. ... When I came to Yorkshire, Jason Gillespie just told me to run it and bowl quick. And when I did that I backed myself, bowled in my good areas and started picking up wickets."
On 5th June 2014 Plunkett was recalled for the two-match series against Sri Lanka as part of a 12-man squad. Plunkett was picked based upon his good from in the county championship. After resuming his England career in the first match of the series, Plunkett recorded Test best figures of 5-64 in first innings of the second Test at Headingly.
Test 5 wicket hauls
|1||5/64||11||Sri Lanka||Headingley Stadium||Leeds||England||2014|
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- "UK | England | Tees | Driving ban for England cricketer". BBC News. 19 February 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
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