Steven Kirby

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For other people with the same name, see Steve Kirby.
Steve Kirby
Kirby warming up for Somerset prior to the 2011 Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-final against Durham.
Personal information
Full name Steven Paul Kirby
Born (1977-10-04) 4 October 1977 (age 39)
Bury, Greater Manchester, England
Nickname Tango
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Role Bowler
Domestic team information
Years Team
2001–2004 Yorkshire
2005–2010 Gloucestershire
2011–2014 Somerset
FC debut 6 June 2001 Yorkshire v Kent
Last FC 20 August 2013 Somerset v Warwickshire
LA debut 8 July 2001 Yorkshire v Northamptonshire
Last LA 9 September 2013 Somerset v Nottinghamshire
Career statistics
Competition FC LA T20
Matches 167 104 77
Runs scored 1,320 88 70
Batting average 8.14 4.00 4.37
100s/50s 0/1 0/0 0/0
Top score 57 15 25
Balls bowled 29,166 4,222 1,499
Wickets 572 142 83
Bowling average 28.74 27.90 22.78
5 wickets in innings 17 1 0
10 wickets in match 4 n/a n/a
Best bowling 8/80 5/36 3/17
Catches/stumpings 37/– 16/– 12/–
Source: CricketArchive, 20 August 2014

Steven Paul Kirby (born 4 October 1977) is an English retired first-class cricketer.


Early career[edit]

Kirby started his career when he left school at the age of 16, initially on a YTS scheme at Leicestershire County Cricket Club having been discovered in his native Lancashire.[1][2] While at Leicestershire he had to overcome sacroiliac instability, a chronic bad back, remodelling his action to learn to bowl fast again, but the county released him after five seasons without making an appearance.[3]


Kirby's bowling statistics with Yorkshire
  Matches Balls Wickets Average BBI
First-class[4] 47 8,411 182 28.25 8/80
List A[5] 29 1,142 24 44.20 3/27
Twenty20[6] 3 72 4 29.75 2/22

Kirby spent the summer of 2000 playing in the Lancashire and Ribblesdale League while working as a lino salesman for West Cotes Flooring in Leicestershire, at the age of 24 he had written to Stephen Oldham director of Yorkshire County Cricket Club's academy asking for a chance to resurrect his cricket career.[3] After a net session Yorkshire offered Kirby the chance of some games in the second XI at the start of the 2001 season and after taking 12 wickets in 2 matches he entered into contract discussion but by June was back at his flooring job again.[3] On 7 June 2001, Kirby received a phone call from Oldham asking if he could come to play for Yorkshire first XI the following day as a substitute for Matthew Hoggard in their Championship fixture against Kent.[3] After being given time off from his day job Kirby took 7 for 50 from 24 overs to win the match for Yorkshire, the best by a Yorkshire debutant in Championship cricket since Paul Hutchison in 1997.[7][8] His third match saw him face his old county Leicestershire, again Kirby was instrumental in Yorkshire's innings victory with match figures of 12 for 72.[9] By the end of the season, Kirby had taken 47 wickets at 20.85 and played an instrumental role in Yorkshire becoming County Champions for the first time in 33 years.[3] His performances earned him place in the first England Academy squad, based in Australia, in November 2001.[10]

The 2002 season saw Kirby back up his debut season with 37 wickets at an average of 34.10,[11] but Kirby's best season came in 2003 when his 67 first-class wickets at 26.40 in 2003 suggested Kirby was capable of performing at the highest level.[10][11] His success in the County Championship led to him being selected for the England A side to tour India in the 2003–04 winter.

The following season saw him struggle with a recurrence of his back problem,[10] and at the end of the 2004 season Kirby was released by Yorkshire, at his own request despite having a year remaining on his contract.[12]


Kirby's bowling statistics with Gloucestershire
  Matches Balls Wickets Average BBI
First-class[4] 77 13,708 264 28.18 5/41
List A[5] 47 2,011 71 26.36 5/36
Twenty20[6] 31 642 40 19.95 3/17

Following his release from Yorkshire, Kirby joined Gloucestershire County Cricket Club ahead of the 2005 season.[13] His first season with Gloucestershire saw him take 45 wickets at an average of 26.00,[11] despite a three-day ban for altering the condition of the ball in a match against Glamorgan in May.[14] His consistent performances over the next couple of seasons saw him earn a recall to the England Lions squad for the tour of the India in the winter of 2007–2008.[15]

His impressive performances in 2009 with 64 wickets at an average of 22.18,[11] saw him earn another call up to the England Lions for the start of the 2010 season for a tour match against Bangladesh A. His final season with Gloucestershire saw him take his first-class wicket tally with the club to 264.[4]

On 7 September 2010, Gloucestershire announced that they had released Kirby from the final two years of his contract after he had requested the chance to play Division One County Championship cricket to push his England claims, turning down the offer of a benefit season.[16]


Kirby's bowling statistics with Somerset
  Matches Balls Wickets Average BBI
First-class[4] 35 5,963 103 32.23 6/115
List A[5] 27 1,021 45 22.02 4/52
Twenty20[6] 39 713 34 25.73 3/26

At the end of the 2010 season, Kirby left Gloucestershire for West Country rivals Somerset signing a three-year contract with the County Championship Division One side.[17] Before linking up with his new county Kirby was involved in the MCC squad for the Champion County match taking 5 for 29,[18] before his match was ended with a foot injury.[19] Kirby's first season with Somerset saw him take 53 wickets at an average of 31.54 as Somerset finished 4th in Division One of the County Championship.[11] He also appeared in two domestic finals and was part of the Somerset side that reached the semi-finals of the 2011 Champions League Twenty20 in India.[1]

The 2012 season saw injury restrict Kirby to just nine first-class matches and saw him take 24 wickets at an average of just over 30.[10][11] Prior to the 2013 season, Kirby was included in the MCC squad for the Champion County fixture, for the fourth time in his career.[20] The season again saw Kirby limited to just 10 first-class matches due to injury despite this he took 26 wickets at an average of 35.11.[11] The end of the 2013 season saw Kirby sign a new contract of undisclosed length with Somerset.[21]

Having suffered complications from ankle surgery over the 2013 winter, Kirby required a second operation in six months in April 2014 this time on his shoulder which led to him missing the start of the 2014 season.[22] On 22 July 2014, Kirby announced his retirement from first-class cricket with immediate effect following further complications from his ongoing shoulder injury while playing in a second XI game.[23][24]


Kirby's belligerent personality has seen him in regular confrontations with opposing batsmen, and occasionally umpires. He is renowned as one of the best, if most obscure, 'sledgers' in the game. In dismissing Mike Atherton twice, in Atherton's last County Championship game, Kirby remarked that he had seen 'better batters in my fish and chip shop'.[25][26]

After retirement[edit]

After spending couple of years in an executive search firm Michael Page International gaining valuable commercial experience. Steve Kirby has been appointed Head Coach of the MCC Lords. He will start on the 25th April in his new coaching career. In a recent press statement he is quoted saying “ Words can't describe how excited I am to be taking on such a prestigious role I couldn't have done it without my esteemed colleagues David Day, James Griffin, Rich Krysiak, Pete Robson, Tony Curmi, Ben Davey, Laura Frost, Sean Haggarty and most of all, Rob Bales"


  1. ^ a b "Steve Kirby Announces Retirement". Somerset County Cricket Club. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Former Gloucestershire pace bowler Steve Kirby forced to retire from first class cricket". Gloucestershire Echo. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Brenkley, Stephen (23 December 2001). "Steve Kirby, Yorkshire paceman; Floored by an unlikely fast route to success". The Independent. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "First-class Bowling For Each Team by Steve Kirby". CricketArchive. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "List A Bowling For Each Team by Steve Kirby". CricketArchive. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "Twenty20 Bowling For Each Team by Steve Kirby". CricketArchive. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Warner, David (9 June 2001). "Debutant Kirby leads Yorkshire to win in top of the table clash". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "CricInfo Championship 2001 (Division One): Yorkshire v Kent at Headingley, on 6–9 June 2001". CricketArchive. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Warner, David (1 July 2001). "Yorkshire extend Championship lead with crushing win over Leicestershire". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Player profile: Steve Kirby". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "First-class bowling in each season by Steven Kirby". CricketArchive. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Yorkshire release Steve Kirby". ESPNcricinfo. 21 September 2004. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Kirby moves to Gloucestershire". ESPNcricinfo. 12 October 2004. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Kirby given three-day ban". ESPNcricinfo. 7 June 2005. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "Foster earns Lions call up". ESPNcricinfo. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Kirby granted Gloucestershire release". ESPNcricinfo. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Somerset sign Steve Kirby". ESPNcricinfo. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Kirby takes five as wickets tumble in Abu Dhabi". ESPNcricinfo. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "MCC ease to 174-run victory". ESPNcricinfo. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "MCC news: Dravid and Tait in MCC T20 squad". ESPNcricinfo. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "Somerset: Steve Kirby among eight to sign new deals". BBC Sport. 3 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  22. ^ "Steve Kirby: Somerset bowler to undergo ankle surgery". BBC Sport. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  23. ^ "Injury forces Kirby retirement". ESPNcricinfo. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  24. ^ "Steve Kirby: Somerset bowler to retire through injury". BBC Sport. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  25. ^ "Pride and Passion". Sky Sports. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  26. ^ "CricInfo Championship 2001 (Division One): Yorkshire v Lancashire at Headingley, on 27–30 July 2001". CricketArchive. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 

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