Full name: Stephen Geoffrey Leach.
Birthplace/date: Stafford, November 19, 1993.
Clubs you have played for? Stone CC (North Staffs), Shrewsbury CC and now Shifnal CC.
Biggest influences on your career? Geoff and Hilda Leach – Nan and Gramps!! The amount of time and effort they have given to allow Joe, by brother, and I to play cricket is staggering… I still get a quiet word in my ear when I’ve played a poor shot as well!
Also, Joe Leach, my back garden rival. It’s been great watching Joe being so successful over the past few years at Worcestershire but it’s a shame he still gets me out!
Best player you have played alongside? James Taylor. Events of the past few weeks have been tragic and I’m sure I join everyone across the county in wishing him all the best for the future. A special cricketer and a really good guy. I’m sure he will be successful at whatever he chooses to do next.
Best player you have played against? Kevin Pietersen. He got 170 for Surrey when I faced him for Oxford MCCU at the Parks and, while it may sound silly, I was surprised at just how good he was. He played a complete innings that day and it’s the only time it’s been good to watch an opposition batsman score runs!
Favourite grounds? I’m struggling to pick one. I think we’re lucky to have so many nice grounds, with good pitches and high quality facilities in Shropshire. Shifnal CC have made some improvements and the ground is looking in really good condition.
What have been your cricketing highlights? Winning three Birmingham League Championships and a National KO with Shrewsbury CC. Scoring 110 not out for Oxford MCCU against Surrey in 2015 – I proved to myself that I could compete and perform at that level.
Scoring 170 against Devon in 2015. It’s my highest score for the county and it contributed to a Shropshire win.
What do you enjoy most about playing for Shropshire? In a nutshell, playing a good level of fiercely competitive cricket and enjoying it. A hard game is a good game, and the Shropshire lads will always have some fun on the way!
Hopes for the season? For Shropshire to win the MCCA three-day championship, the Minor Counties one-day Trophy and also for Shifnal CC to get promoted… I don’t ask for much!
Long-term cricketing ambitions? I would still love to play county cricket, so for now it’s a matter of getting my head down, churning runs and seeing if a lucky break presents itself. Ultimately, I would like to be Shropshire’s most successful captain.
Favourite other sports? I’ll try my hand (badly) at anything! The Leach family support Wolves, which is probably why I don’t support anyone!