Glen Chapple mustn’t have been able to believe his luck when the opportunity arose to sign Luke Wells from Sussex in late 2020, the batting all-rounder’s career having stalled in his latter years beside the seaside at Hove.
Thankfully, now, he is back up to top gear after a brilliant first two years in the North West, culminating in him receiving his county cap at the 2022 end of season awards dinner at Emirates Old Trafford.
Before joining the Red Rose, Wells had long since shown his quality - mainly as a top order batter.
The tall and imposing left-hander had scored 18 centuries for home county Sussex, including a pair of double centuries with a best of 258 in a 2017 LV= Insurance County Championship home win over Durham.
But his last century for the Martlets came in early 2018 and difficulties followed, resulting in him being released after the Covid-shortened summer and doubts about his future career. He even explored opportunities outside the game.
Now, he is flying again, with his excellent contributions including a number of vital return as a useful leg-spin bowler and a sharp fielder.
With the bat, popular Wells harnesses poise and power and has forged a formidable opening partnership with new captain Keaton Jennings. The latter joked they are two peas in a pod: “Wellsy is my fellow tall giraffe,” said Keaton last summer.
In all cricket for Lancashire, including a couple of pre-season friendlies ahead of 2023, he has scored 2,597 runs across all formats added to 46 wickets. He averages just shy of 40 with the bat and a little over 30 with the ball.
Eastbourne-Wells was just short of being an ever-present across all cricket in 2022 as the Red Rose went oh so close to silverware.
Opening the batting, he posted 991 runs in the Championship, including a brilliant best of 175 not out to secure a final day chase of 329 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in June.
Following another century against Somerset at Southport, he starred against Yorkshire in September with a memorable display of batting which engineered a victory chance that was almost grabbed hold of.
He hit a more sedate 84 in the first innings at Old Trafford. But, with time running out in the match, has raced out of the blocks in the second as Lancashire tried to fashion a win they desperately needed to maintain their four-day title challenge.
Hitting particularly well down the ground, he crashed 124 off only 82 balls. Unfortunately, Yorkshire later held on for the draw.
Just before that, Wells had enjoyed a fine One-Day Cup campaign, totalling 355 runs from 10 games added to nine wickets.
In 2023, the 32-year-old has every chance of reaching 10,000 first-class career runs - he is only 617 away. He is also only 18 wickets away from the 100-mark. But the main thing on his mind will be winning a trophy or two.
He is the son of former England player Alan and made his Sussex debut back in 2010, playing one game as they went on to win the Division Two Championship title that season.