Why Chris Benjamin is a rising star in English cricket
Chris Benjamin was once a completely unknown player but he has quickly risen in popularity over the past few years. He is now seen as the future of English cricket. Chris has even been compared to national team star Jos Buttler.
At the moment, Chris plays for Birmingham Phoenix where he has shone over the past few months. He was a last-minute addition to the team after Adam Hose suffered an injury. Chris made sure to cement his place on the team because he had a stellar performance in the Phoenixes’ first match when he hit 24 runs.
It was a breakout performance that drew the attention of the national media and he is now being hyped up as one of the best in the England system. Most of the people within the scene already knew about Benjamin's potential behind the scenes. Now, people are aware and they see why he was regarded highly by players and coaches.
Chris is already well-regarded
Casual fans asked the question ‘Who’s this Chris Benjamin guy?’, and they were answered with a stellar performance all around the board. It was his introduction to the rest of the cricket world despite most people knowing he is a big talent.
Even Phoenix captain Moeen Ali was surprised when he saw Chris during one of their training sessions. Ali was so impressed that he had to look up what Chris did in the past to get to the level he is now.
‘I played a second-team game a month or so ago, and he was playing’, Ali said. ‘It was the way he got them. He was somebody who could hit the ball so clean. He could reverse sweep, sweep, he was quite brave the way he played - he just impressed’.
‘I just thought he had something about him’, he continued. ‘He was playing for the Bears the other night, obviously they needed to win and Worcester needed to win. I messaged Trotty [Jonathan Trott], and asked, “Who’s this Benjamin guy?”’.
Ali made sure to contact Chris at Durham University and he looked into what made the youngster so good. This led to the callup to Birmingham where he shines today.
Will Chris be a member of the national team soon?
While it is gratifying that Chris has received so much attention in the past few months, he still needs to fully develop as a cricketer. There are still some holes in his game that might be exposed if he goes to international games. He has to work on some of his gaps and come into the Three Lions squad with virtually no flaws.
Chris is a very talented player but he needs more time to develop all of his skills. He has the talent but he still looks raw at times. He needs to be a refined product so he can keep up with the talents from other countries like India and New Zealand.
Ali has even compared Chris to Jos Buttler which is a big honour. He said, ‘It might have been Ravi [Bopara] who said that he’s got something about him that is like Jos Buttler. There is something about his batting. He’s strong, he’s got all the shots and I think he can go a long way’.
It will be fun to see how Chris’ career will play out because it has started with a bang and it’s up to him if he can step up with the insane hype around him.
Words: Cholo Martin