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Alex Lees works hard in quest to dominate county cricket with Yorkshire

Yorkshire opener helped his side to win the County Championship and is looking forward to gaining experience with England Lions on tour in South Africa
• The Spin: The Guardian’s international cricket XI of 2014

When Alex Lees was a kid in Halifax, thumping balls in his garden long after the light and his father’s almost infinite patience had faded, one of his favourite players was Matthew Hayden – the domineering Australian who used his crease as a bully pulpit, dispensing authority and, it turns out, a distant influence.

Scroll forward a few years and the 21-year-old Lees has grown into a tall left-handed opener who enjoys taking bowlers on and belting the ball hard. Sound familiar? And while Lees’ stance is different to Hayden’s – he stands ruler-straight, as if a ballet teacher is permanently in his ear, while Hayden was more orthodox – their instincts are strikingly similar.

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