Saqib Mahmood experienced the highest of highs in 2022 and the lowest of lows. Less than two months after making his Test Match debut for England in the West Indies in March, he was ruled out for the rest of the year with a back stress fracture.
But the Rochdale-raised quick is back to full fitness and ready to shine in 2023.
Mahmood played two Tests in the Caribbean - his debut came at Barbados - taking six wickets, and he has now played in all formats of international cricket.
He returned an ODI player of the series performance against Pakistan during the summer of 2021, claiming nine wickets in three matches with a best of 4-42.
Having graduated through Lancashire’s Academy to play for England Under 19s at the age of 17, Mahmood’s senior international debut came in a T20 clash against New Zealand in Wellington in November 2019 after a stellar season in county cricket.
In all cricket for Lancashire, he took 57 wickets in 28 appearances, with some stunning form in the early season Royal London Cup yielding notable returns of 6-37 and 5-14 in home victories over Northamptonshire and Leicestershire.
He remains one of only four Red Rose bowlers to have taken six wickets in a List A innings, while his five-for means his name appears twice in the 12 best bowling performances in the club’s history.
Mahmood’s battle with injury through 2022 was not an entirely new experience. The now 25-year-old encountered a rough 2018 in that regard, for example.
Hopefully through the worst of any injury problems at the start of 2023, he can shine during a year which sees Lancashire chase silverware on three fronts and England tackle the Ashes and the 50-over World Cup at home and in India respectively.
In 2019, Mahmood - he was born in Birmingham before moving to the North West as a youngster - finished the RL50 campaign as its leading wicket-taker with 28 as the Red Rose reached the semi-finals.
That same season, he took the winning wicket which secured Lancashire promotion back to Division One of the County Championship - against Middlesex during the penultimate week of the summer.
Mahmood signed his first pro contract at Emirates Old Trafford ahead of 2015 alongside Matt Parkinson and Tom Bailey.
He was part of the Lancashire Under 17s side who won the Royal London one-day Cup and shared the two-day Championship title with Surrey in 2014, and made his first-team debut in the T20 Blast in 2015, playing three times.
He made two further appearances in that competition in 2016, whilst also making his List A and County Championship debuts.
Mahmood prepared for 2017 by taking part in the ECB’s specialist fast bowling training camp in Potchefstroom, and he ended the year with the Lions in Australia.
He took 12 wickets in Championship cricket during 2017, with a best of 4-50 in the first innings of the season-ending win over Surrey at Old Trafford as Lancashire finished second in Division One.
He was the last man to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara in first-class cricket during the fixture.
Following his debut IT20 series in New Zealand in the winter of 2019, Mahmood made his ODI debut against South Africa in the early part of 2020 and helped Lancashire reach Finals Day later in the year.
He has played Pakistan Super League cricket in late 2020 and in 2021 with Peshawar Zalmi, whilst also representing the Oval Invincibles in the first year of the Hundred.
During his spell on the sidelines in 2022, he spent time with the BBC radio team and proved an engaging pundit. Maybe that could be a future career.
For now, wickets and trophies are his first priority.