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"Interesting" season for Ben Green

Ben Green has just flown out to Western Australia to play Grade Cricket for Perth-based club Gosnells, where he also spent last winter.

Before he set off on his travels the 21-year-old Academy graduate, who made his First Class debut in the tied game against Lancashire, reflected on his 2018 season.

“I think interesting is the right word to describe my season,” he said. “There have been a few ups and downs, but also some highlights, including my List A and Championship debuts.

“To make my debut in these two competitions has been massive to me and something that I’ve been looking forward to for the last couple of years, so it feels good to have that under my belt now.”

Ben made his red ball debut against Lancashire when he opened the innings, about which he said: “If you had told me last year that I would be opening the batting with Marcus Trescothick on my Championship debut then I would have laughed at you, but that’s what happened!

“It’s been a very interesting season for me, almost a transition year as I’ve tried to become an opening batsman. At the start of the year I wasn’t sure about it, but now I’ve done it I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s a great challenge to face the new ball, and if you get good at it then you’re very valuable to the team, so this is certainly something that I want to work on.

“My debut was a bit of a baptism of fire really. Although that wasn’t the type of wicket that I would have chosen for my first red ball appearance, it was certainly a dramatic game. A tie in my first ever game, I don’t think that there will be too many others who can say that, so I wont forget it in a hurry.

“I would have liked to have stuck around for a bit longer, but it was certainly an interesting experience and I learned a lot from it.

“I scored a few runs at the top of the order in the Second XI, although I would have liked to have made a couple more centuries, so I’ve done alright really and it’s still early days for me as an opening batsman. I’ve got a lot to learn, so I’m working hard on how to get better everyday.”

How did it feel as a young batsman stepping out into a hostile environment?

“It’s certainly very different to opening in the Second XI, which can be a bit docile at times, especially against Lancashire who are renowned for having a few things to say about opposing batsmen. However, I spent last winter playing out in Australia and they certainly got in my ear a bit which was good experience.”

“Every Lancashire bowler apart from Tom Bailey had played international cricket, so it was a massive step up for me, but time in the middle against top quality bowlers is invaluable, and I enjoyed it.”

“Everyone at this level has got a pretty sound technique, so nowadays it’s much more about how mentally prepared you are. Can you concentrate on every ball? Can you relax between balls? Do you know what your options are? Where are you trying to score runs? Having had the experience of being a bowler I try to think how they would try to get me out and try as best as I can to counteract that, especially with the new ball because the advantages are in the bowlers court.”

How did it feel to be opening the batting with Marcus Trescothick?

“Unfortunately we haven’t had a big partnership yet, but it’s great and a really comforting feeling walking out there with someone who’s as experienced as Marcus. It felt like a weight off my shoulders to have him at the other end and if I had any issues I know I could talk with him. He makes you feel relaxed because of the aura he has about him.”

How does Ben think of himself as a cricketer now?

“It seems to change every year,” he said. “I’m really enjoying opening the batting, so I’m looking to keep working on that aspect of my game and hopefully that’s something that I can do for a long time in the future. However, I certainly won’t lose sight of my bowling because I want to be a really good option with the ball. If all that goes to plan I would be a very valuable asset to the team.”

Ben has now travelled back out to Perth to play again for Gosnells CC where he enjoyed success last winter.

“I felt that last winter was a real learning curve for me and it helped me to develop my game quite a lot, so I’m hoping that this year will have the same impact and that I will continue to get better.

“Last time I was with Gosnells was the longest time that I’ve ever been away, but I see myself as fairly independent and I’ve been on a few tours prior to that, so I found it relatively easy to settle in there.

“I was also with the most amazing host family, who I’m returning to, and the club was so welcoming that I settled in very easily and loved it. The host family were lovely people so it feels almost like a second home now.”

Having experienced first team cricket, what does Ben want in the future?

“What I’ve experienced this year makes me hungry to play some more games, and I’m really looking forward to hopefully playing more next season, getting a few more runs and taking a few more wickets. Having had the taste of it really makes you hungry and makes you even more driven to play at that level.”

Summing up his season Ben said: “There have certainly been more ups than down for me this year and I’ve been happy with how things have gone. There have been lots of highlights and hopefully I’ve got another really good winter to look forward to.”

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