Alex Lees went through highly-charged emotions as Yorkshire presented him with his county cap and he repaid them with yet more runs against Somerset.
The 21-year-old was overcome on Tuesday in the moments before captain Andrew Gale handed him his cap as Yorkshire prepared for their final home match of the season. Lees’ runs have underpinned the YCCs charge to a first title since 2001 and he was at it again at Headingley, with 83 out of 241 for nine.
After his latest half-century, taking himself to within 48 runs of 1,000 championship runs for the summer, Lees said: “It’s my proudest moment thus far in life.” Lees’s father died of cancer three years ago, in the infancy of his son’s professional cricket career.
“I lost my dad Simon in 2011, so that was a tribute to him. He brought me up and spent countless hours in the garden with me. Unfortunately, he never saw me as a professional - so to come through and be capped this morning really touched me.”
Lees’ quest for runs has helped him form a prolific partnership with Lyth - and he confirmed he is far from satisfied yet.
“Some people have different drivers, and for me I just want to do the right thing and make (my dad) proud to keep performing,” he added.
“I was disappointed not get a hundred.”
Gale will not be surprised to hear that, saying: “He always had the technical attributes but was always quite stubborn and I think that’s worked in his favour.
“When you’re a young lad coming into the side, sometimes you just want to stay there and you’re happy with a 30 or 40 - but he (always) wanted to make big hundreds.
“He is disappointed if he’s out for 150 because he wants to make 200.”
Gale, unable to take the field in Yorkshire’s final two fixtures of the season because of a two-match ban from the England and Wales Cricket Board after his altercation with Lancashire’s Ashwell Prince, was delighted to be able to do the honours with Lees’ presentation.
“One of the good things about being captain is seeing the young lads when they come through and see how hard they worked,” he said.
“Leesy was crying his eyes out in the dressing room this morning.
“For a young lad he’s been through a lot in his life, with the passing of his dad a few years ago.
“For him to be rewarded with his county cap was quite emotional, not just for himself but for the other lads in the dressing room.”