Steven Croft (cricketer)
|Full name||Steven John Croft|
|Born||11 October 1984|
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Bowling||Right-arm off break|
|Role||All rounder, occasional wicket-keeper|
|Domestic team information|
|2002||Lancashire Cricket Board|
|2005–present||Lancashire (squad no. 15)|
|First-class debut||25 May 2005 |
Lancashire v Oxford UCCE
|List A debut||29 August 2002 |
Lancashire CB v Oxfordshire
Source: Cricinfo, 8 October 2020
Steven John Croft (born 11 October 1984) is an English first-class cricketer who has played for Lancashire County Cricket Club since 2005. He bats right-handed and can bowl both medium-fast and off breaks. In 2008 Croft was given the Lancashire members' Player of the Year and One-Day Player of the Year awards. In 2008/09 he played for the Auckland Aces in New Zealand as an overseas player. Awarded his Lancashire cap in 2010, Croft was part of the Lancashire team that won the County Championship in 2011.
Born in Blackpool, Lancashire, Croft made his debut for the Lancashire Second XI at the age of 16, in May 2001. He made his first-class Lancashire debut in 2005, having previously made his list A debut for the Lancashire Cricket Board in 2002. He spent the winters of 2005–06 and 2006–07 playing club cricket in Australia.
Croft finished the 2008 season with 585 first-class runs in thirteen matches, with an average of 32.50. He hit one century, his maiden hundred a 122 against Nottinghamshire and three fifties. In one-day matches, he hit 279 runs from thirteen matches, averaging 31. He was also the club's leading wicket-taker with fourteen, at an average of 21.71. In Twenty20 matches he hit 134 runs from eleven matches and took six wickets. He also won the Player of the Month award for August. In September 2008 Croft won two awards for the 2008 season winning the club's members Player of the Year award and the one-day Player of the Year award. At the start of August 2010, Croft was awarded his county cap.
Croft signed a contract to become the overseas player at Auckland Aces, one of six first-class teams clubs in New Zealand for the State championship for the 2008–09 season. In eight first-class matches, he scored 330 runs, including two half-centuries, and averaged 36.66. Croft also played ten list A matches, amassing 209 runs with a single score above 50.
During a drawn County Championship match against Warwickshire in August 2011, Croft scored the second century of his first-class career, and his first in three years. He passed 3,000 first-class runs in the innings of 122 from 182 balls, which equalled his highest score. Though there was a three-year gap between his first and second centuries, in the next County Championship match Croft scored a third, this time an innings of 107 in a Lancashire victory over Worcestershire. On 15 September 2011, Croft scored the winning runs as Lancashire beat Somerset at Taunton to clinch the County Championship outright for the first time since 1934. Croft played in all 16 Championship matches and finished with 825 runs at an average of 31.73, making him the club's fourth highest run-scorer (only two Lancashire batsmen managed over- 1,000 runs in the 2011 season).
Lancashire began their title defence poorly, with three losses from their first four County Championship matches. The batsmen struggled in particular, and it was not until the third County Championship match that one of them scored a century. Against a Somerset bowling attack depleted through injury, Croft scored his fourth first-class century.
Croft was educated at Highfield Humanities College in his hometown of Blackpool and Myerscough College in Bilsborrow on the Fylde. He has twice been the half-time guest at the club's home games at Bloomfield Road, firstly against Derby County on 21 October 2008. and again on 30 November 2009 during the West Lancashire derby against Preston North End.
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- Hardcastle, Graham (October 2008). "Croft flies south for the winter". Lancashire County Cricket Club. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
- "Player of the Month Award". Lancashire County Cricket Club. September 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
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- "Hogg's lightning strike all in vain". Manchester Evening News. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- "First-class batting and fielding for each team by Steve Croft". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Batting and fielding for each team by Steve Croft". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 May 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "f53305 Lancashire v Warwickshire: LV County Championship 2011 (Division 1)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Cully, Jon (3 August 2011). "Croft ton shares limelight with Clarke's catching". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Croft ton boosts Lancashire". ESPNcricinfo. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "f53324 Lancashire v Worcestershire: LV County Championship 2011 (Division 1)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Batting and fielding in LV County Championship 2011 (ordered by runs)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Nottinghamshire condemn Lancashire to third loss". BBC Sport. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "County Cricket 2012 / Fixtures". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Dobell, George (26 April 2012). "Rose looks to loan market to boost exposed Somerset". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Steven Croft player profile". cricinfo. Retrieved 22 September 2007.