England, Warwickshire, England Lions, Northamptonshire, Birmingham Bears, Hampshire
Manchester-born Keith Barker, much like any other teenager in his city, wanted to be a footballer. He not only dreamed of playing the famous sport but translated them into reality when he represented England at U-18, U-19 and U-20 level as a striker. With time, however, Barker made peace with the fact that he wasn't going to make it big in football and switched his attention to cricket in 2008, and never looked back since. A bowling all-rounder, Barker started his career as a batsman who could bowl and soon found his mojo with swing bowling. Warwickshire gave him the first opportunity to prove his mettle in the year 2009, and it took three years for the stocky-pacer to create a splash of his own. In the year 2012, Barker nipped out 56 wickets after re-establishing himself as a new ball bowler in the side, and what's more impressive was the average (20) he maintained throughout the season. His valuable contribution with the ball helped Warwickshire win the Championship title in 2012 and the following couple of years were all about sustaining the reputation he earned during his prime. Barker accounted for 97 County wickets across two seasons (2013, 14) before ringing alarms for his potential threat with the new ball. With David Willey rounding off the bowling all-rounder spot in the shorter forms, and with an increased hunt for younger talents, Barker might finish his career without having a bite at international cricket. Might. It would, otherwise, be a story to cherish if and when he makes his national debut.