After coming through the Lancashire Academy system, Richard Gleeson made his debut for the Red Rose in 2018, aged 30 after joining on a three-year contract from Northants at the back end of the campaign.
The tall seamer has only been playing First Class cricket for three seasons. He was picked up by Northants after impressing in Minor Counties cricket with Cumberland, whilst working for Lancashire as a Cricket Development Officer.
Gleeson’s first full season one was highly impressive for the Red Rose, finishing as the Club’s leading wicket-taker in Specsavers County Championship Division Two with 47 wickets at an average of just over 20. His seasonal debut started with consecutive five-wicket hauls against his former Club, earning him a maiden ten-wicket match haul, and he followed with another five-for in the victory over Worcestershire.
He came close to matching that feat against Leicestershire in the final game of the season, taking nine in a rain-affected match, though he did come out with career-best figures of 6/43 from the first innings. His wicket of Paul Horton, removing off stump with vicious away swing after pitching close to middle stump, made waves on social media.
The right-armer also established himself as a permanent fixture in the Vitality Blast side, often trusted in the powerplay overs and to deliver at the end of an innings. Despite bowling at what are traditionally the high-scoring stage of an innings, Gleeson’s claimed nine wickets and went at less than eight an over.
Gleeson had an impressive record across all three formats during his spell at Northants. He made 22 First-Class appearances taking 83 wickets at an average of 22, 21 List A games taking 28 wickets at an average of 29 and 34 wickets from 31 T20s at an average of 23.
The right-arm bowler played an integral role as Northants won the T20 Blast trophy at Edgbaston in 2016, taking 14 wickets in 10 games at an average of just 16.
His form earned him a call up to the England Lions squad in early 2018, making his debut against the West Indies before featuring in the North-South series in Barbados in March.
He received another Lions call-up early in 2020 for the series in Australia and has earned contracts in franchise cricket around the world, namely with Melbourne Renegades in Australia’s Big Bash and in the T10 League.