George Lavelle enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season in 2022, the wicketkeeper fighting for trophies on two fronts in first-team colours.
Lavelle, who will be 23 by the time the new summer begins, was one of only three ever-presents in Lancashire’s run to the final of the One-Day Cup, contributing two half-centuries with the bat and 12 catches behind the stumps in 10 appearances.
Only Hampshire’s Ben Brown took more catches than Lavelle in the competition.
His two fifties were 61 not out in the record chase of 371 against Northamptonshire at Blackpool when he hit the winning runs and also 50 in the semi-final victory over Sussex at Hove when he helped the Red Rose recover from 67-5 to post a winning total of 319-8.
Lavelle, like many keepers, is a busy but classical batter who bats in the lower middle order. In years to come, the right-hander will no doubt be keen to bat higher.
He will also been keen to build on the two County Championship appearances he made in 2022 - he has played five first-class games in all during his short senior career.
The Ormskirk-born player has also only featured in a pair of T20 matches, both coming in late 2020.
That was the season which saw him debut in the first team, starting in the Bob Willis Trophy and then in the Blast.
His trio of first-team fifties have all come in 50-over cricket.
Lavelle plays his club cricket for Ormskirk in the Liverpool competition and also graduated through the Lancashire Academy.
During his time on the Academy, Lavelle was named as the Bunbury Festival’s player of the tournament in 2015, scoring 459 runs at an average of 98.8 with a high score of 98 against Surrey in the final, aligned with excellent performances behind the stumps.
In fact, the late David English named Lavelle in his best ever Bunbury XI.
The rest of the team is something to behold. It reads: Sir Alastair Cook, Michael Vaughan, Joe Root, Ben Hollioake, Andrew Flintoff, George Lavelle, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Rory Hipwell and Steven Finn.
Look at English’s named reserves. Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Marcus Trescothick and Graeme Swann.
It is one heck of a nod to Lavelle’s potential that he is named ahead of Bairstow and Buttler.
He played in England’s 2018 summer Under 19s Test against South Africa at Scarborough and has also spent time playing winter grade cricket in Sydney.
Lavelle’s first recorded appearance for Lancashire came at Under 14s level, progressing through the age-groups from there.
He has five second-team centuries to his name, including a best of 174 in a Championship triumph over Nottinghamshire at Lady Bay in 2021. He batted at three in that fixture.