My Cricket Inspiration...Alex Lees on Hayden & Lara
Yorkshire one-day and T20 captain Alex Lees says two fellow left-handers were his biggest inspirations when he was making his way in the game - Matthew Hayden and Brian Lara.
Although it is now common to see Test openers play aggressively, Hayden was one of the first to do so on a regular basis as part of the all-conquering teams under Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting.
Lara, meanwhile, holds multiple records including the highest Test (400 not out) and first-class scores (501 not out).
"For me, I have two," Lees said at the Pro Coach Academy at Headingley when asked about his heroes growing up, adding:
"Brian Lara, the great West Indian batsman and then Matthew Hayden, who I used to love watching bat and how he took the attack to the opposition and really looked to dominate.
"They were both obviously attacking players and both had an element of flair to their game which is something I always loved watching, particularly Hayden, watching him in the Test and one-dayers going hard at the ball, which was not the done thing.
"Now we have likes of David Warner and others like him, and it's become more and more common in the current game."
When asked whether the fact that both were left-handers were an influence on him, Lees says that it can play a part, but is not necessarily the defining factor.
"I'm a left-hander myself...I think that possibly influences which cricketers youngsters follow. I think it's something you look at," he said.
"There'll be a few Joe Root fans kicking around, young right-handed batsmen."
He added that for him it was about who was exciting to watch and both Hayden and Lara were both renowned for playing entertaining cricket during their careers.
"I think for me, it was just what gripped me as a youngster and what was exciting to watch," Lees commented.
"That Australian team and the West Indies team with Lara in...whenever he was batting you always felt there was something going to happen - that was probably the biggest thing for me."
© Cricket World 2016