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West Indies v England

Who is Matt Fisher, the record-breaking Yorkshire youngster tasked with filling Broad and Anderson’s shoes?

matt fisher
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Matt Fisher was a surprising inclusion in England’s 16-man squad for their tour to West Indies. This is his story so far.

Hidden beneath the headline omissions of eight of this winter’s Ashes tourists were the inclusions of two entirely uncapped players, Alex Lees and Matt Fisher.

Both were part of the England Lions touring party to Australia this winter and while Lees’ selection was expected after the horror series endured by Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, Fisher’s came as more of a surprise.

With just 21 first-class games under his belt and two first-class five-fors to his name, Fisher was not the obvious next cab off the rank – he has never taken more than 20 wickets in a first-class season.

What’s his story?

Fisher made headlines back in 2013 when he made his senior Yorkshire debut as a 15-year-old in a one-day match against Leicestershire, becoming the youngest post-war county cricketer in the process. Tipped for the top from an early age, Fisher’s process has been curtailed by injury. Even now, nine years into his professional career, Fisher has never played more than five first-class games in a single season.

Why the call-up?

That said, his recent record is excellent when he has managed to get on the park. Since the start of the 2019 County Championship, Fisher has 43 first-class wickets at 21.98.

Given how long Fisher’s name has been around the county game it is easy to forget just how young he is, having only celebrated his 24th birthday in November; Fisher is nine months younger than Saqib Mahmood. With England looking ahead into the future after yet another Ashes calamity, there are few more exciting bowlers under the age of 25 than Fisher.

Interim director of England men’s cricket Andrew Strauss recently described Fisher as the most impressive bowler on the England Lions tour to Australia. The positive impression that he left there no doubt played a major role in his elevation to the senior set-up.

The final word on Matt Fisher?

Speaking on the Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast, former England batter Mark Butcher said that while he did not expect Fisher’s selection for the West Indies tour, he believed that it was an intriguing pick.

“The replacement for [Broad], Matt Fisher, is an interesting one,” Butcher said. “I was a bit blindsided by that. He has certain attributes that might be of use in Test match cricket. He’s tall, he hits the pitch really hard, he gets in close to the stumps, he’s got a McGrath-like action through the crease. That’s not a comparison but it’s just the way that he operates. He could be someone whose game, while it hasn’t been massively eye-catching at first-class level, could translate into something that will do good things in Test match cricket.”

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