During Lancashire’s County Championship draw against Warwickshire in late June 2016, Matt Parkinson achieved a rare feat in becoming only the second English leg-spinner to take five wickets on debut since 1946, the post-war era.
The other? Yorkshire and England's Adil Rashid.
By the end of 2019 Parkinson would be joining his leg-spinning counterpart in England’s IT20 squad to tour New Zealand, where he made his international debut. Impressive it was, too, taking a wicket in his first over of international cricket before scooping a four-wicket haul in his second match to help England secure a turnaround series victory.
Another huge season for Lancashire in the Vitality Blast prompted his call-up, a haul of 21 wickets meaning no player has taken more scalps in the competition over the three-year period between 2017-19.
His white ball talents extend into the 50-over format, too, where he added 12 Royal London One-Day Cup wickets in 2019 after finishing as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker with 18 in the previous season.
It proved a productive year all-round for the leg-spinning prospect. In his maiden First-Class appearance of the season, he grabbed his first ten-wicket match haul against Sussex and then took the final wicket against Derbyshire at Emirates Old Trafford that sealed promotion back to Specsavers County Championship Division One.
Parkinson’s talent was evident from his early Academy days and he starred on debut against the Bears in 2016, finishing with 5-49 from 23.1 overs including the prized wicket of former Test star Jonathan Trott.
In total, he took 10 wickets in four Championship matches during his debut season, also getting England all-rounder Ben Stokes caught and bowled at Southport.
Parkinson’s performances were noticed by the England management, who invited him to train with them in the build up to a couple of Test Matches against Pakistan as the national side aimed to prepare to face leggie Yasir Shah.
Parkinson was also invited to train at the England Performance Programme camp in Dubai in the lead up to the 2017 summer. Unfortunately, however, it was a trip which sparked a stress fracture in his back, forcing him to miss the start of the county season.
Thankfully, when he did return, he turned heads in both Championship and Twenty20 cricket, debuting in the latter format.
He took 14 wickets in five Championship appearances, including a best of 4-68 against Somerset at Taunton in September.
That had followed a fine run in the NatWest T20 Blast when he returned another 14 wickets from nine matches, including a career best of 4-23 in a televised Roses defeat at Headingley.
His economy rate of 6.06 runs per over was the second best in the competition of any bowler who bowled more than three overs.
It was form which saw him honoured with the Club’s Young Player of the Year award.
The Boltonian is a product of the Heaton club and the twin brother of Leicestershire left-arm spinner Callum, who was released by Lancashire before having the chance to sign pro terms.
He has played age-group cricket for Lancashire from Under 13s level, and he was on the Academy and Scholarship programmes between 2012 and 2014.
He was part of the Under 17s side who won the Royal London One-Day Cup and shared the two-day Championship title with Surrey in 2014. He also played a part in their 2017 three-day success, taking 17 wickets.
Parkinson played Minor Counties Cricket for Staffordshire, and in August 2015 he took 6-130 in a drawn Under 19s Test Match against Australia at Emirates Riverside.
In the winter of 2019, the 23-year-old signed a new contract at Emirates Old Trafford, keeping him at the Club until at least the end of the 2022 season, a place he says “is like home to me”.
Midway through the 2018 season, Parkinson was awarded his county cap and Red Rose supporters can look forward to seeing many more wickets from ‘Parky’ for years to come.