A man born to lead
Alex Wakely, or ‘Wakers’ as he is commonly called has been a shining light for the County cricket system. Breaking through as a talented junior, Wakely represented England U19’s and captained them in the 2008 World Cup. The following year he brought his skillset to the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) and flourished as a natural leader.
As many players do, Wakely first struggled to adapt to the Australian wicket and found it difficult to read the bounce. Despite some early struggles, the current Northamptonshire Captain remained true to himself and displayed incredible persistence. Wakely demonstrated strong leadership to his entire group, one which included English players Alex Hales, Jake Ball and Samit Patel. He had a positive impact on his High Performance Program group from the beginning, but certainly learnt a lot about his own game in the process. Head Coach Shaun Seigert described him as “a stroke maker type…a fluent batsman who is very clean and sharp”.
During his time in Adelaide, Wakely played for Prospect District Cricket Club and displayed his calm temperament on many occasions. He was a player who came to Australia with a reputation for being a junior international player and the Australian bowlers often put a target on his head. Towards the end of the program, Wakely began to dominate and score some serious runs for his grade club.
There was one story in particular Seigert recounted about Wakely’s experience. “He came out to Australia when players were billeted out, rather than living in shared accomodation like they do now”.
“At this particular time, the person he was living with had no air conditioning”.
(P.S. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, Australian summers can be testing, with temperatures in Adelaide potentially reaching up to 40°C .)
“While it would be normal to be unhappy, Wakely simply used a piece of mesh on his wall to cool himself down”.
“He didn’t complain once”.
“He was a man born to lead with one of the most authentic personalities”.
After returning to England upon completion at the academy, Wakely became a regular in the Northants 1st XI. It did not take long for the club to realise that he was a man they needed to keep at the club for life and made him captain at the ripe age of 24. He soon featured and captained Northamptonshire in all formats of the game.