Tom Fell, a promising county batsman, played his part in publicising the risks of testicular cancer when his Worcestershire career was interrupted by such a medical diagnosis at the end of the 2015 season. Fell had surgery, and subsequently needed chemotherapy, before resuming his career midway through the following season. His first hundred since his illness – against Lancashire in the Royal London Cup at the end of July – was warmly welcomed throughout the game. Fell admitted an initial reluctance to seek medical advice caused a delay in the removal of the tumour and he played an important role in encouraging others not to do the same. The general sense of goodwill in the game was a contributory factor in him winning the MCC’s Spirit of Cricket award for 2016 for signalling that his foot had touched the rope while failing to save a boundary during a Sussex run chase.

Fell had an outstanding reputation before he made the Worcestershire first team. He broke every run-scoring record at Oakham School – where Stuart Broad and Josh Cobb were also educated – and, in his last year, made eight successive scores of 50 or more including two centuries. He made his first-class debut for Oxford MCCU in 2013 but left university at the end of his first year to dedicate himself to cricket.

In his second first-class match for Worcestershire, he made an unbeaten 62 against an Australia attack including Ryan Harris and, in his next innings, was denied a maiden century when poor weather intervened against Kent when he was unbeaten on 94. The century eventually came in 2014: an innings of 124 against Leicestershire followed by an innings of 133 against Glamorgan and while progress was not always smooth, Fell had announced himself as a young man of considerable promise.

That was confirmed by his form in 2015. He made three centuries in Division One and, in a Worcestershire relegation season, became the only man at the club to pass 1,000 runs in the Championship season. He was also the youngest man in the country to do so in the top division.

STATS

Role
batsman
bats
right-hand
bowls
right-arm, off-spin
shirt number
29
place of birth
Middlesex
date of birth
17/10/1993
height
6ft 1in
weight
12st 9lbs
nickname
Lord, Feltch
bat used weight
Gun & Moore 2.8lb
colour number
42
wccc debut
2013