Son of the Kent stalwart Alan Ealham, Mark Ealham is one of many tried by the England selectors to fill the huge gap left by the retirement of Ian Botham, making his Test debut in the 1997 Ashes series. Ealham is a genuine all-rounder, a hard-hitting batsman who can adapt his game to fit the circumstances, and a deceptive bowler. He bowls a brisk medium pace off a short angled run up, and can move the ball away from the bat late. He excels in the one-day game - like his father, an exceptional fielder - and his batting adapts to the need to keep the scoreboard moving without resorting to slogging. He holds the record for the fastest Sunday League century (44 balls). He has established himself as an important part of the England one-day team and has made the most of his Test chances without becoming a regular selection. Described by Mark Nicholas as "steady, reliable, consistent, underrated".
(Article: Copyright © 1997 Dave Liverman)