Ben Compton - a record-breaking Ranger

Ben Compton - a record-breaking Ranger

By Chris Goldie
18 April
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Everyone at Richmond should be proud of Ben Compton's early-season heroics for Kent. He is, after all, one of our own.


Its still very early days – this was only his 12th first-class match and just his second for Kent – but Ben Compton’s heroic efforts against Lancashire are hopefully promise of greater things to come as a long-awaited professional career finally takes off. Here at Richmond, we regard Compo as one of our own – just as we do his cousin Nick who played for us between 2003 and 2009 when not required by Middlesex and who was made a Vice President of Richmond when he became a Test player. Indeed it was Nick who suggested that Ben should make the move from Wimbledon to Richmond before the 2016 season, a move that we welcomed with open arms, his style of batting being just what we needed at the top of our order.

Ben’s record for Richmond is exceptional. Over 4 seasons he played 69 League & Cup matches scoring 3,191 runs at an average of 46.25. He was a key player in the double success of 2018 despite suffering an ankle injury which saw him miss a few games. In that season he scored 2 tons and, famously, missed out on a 3rd when he holed out on 99 at Twickenham with just one needed for victory following a magnificent 2nd wicket partnership of 277 with Adam London. He scored 2 other tons in League matches and an unbeaten 153 in a Middlesex Cup match but his consistency and stability at the top of the order was much needed on many occasions.

Throughout this time, Ben had a fervent ambition to become a county cricketer and he pursued this ambition with determination and fortitude despite many times when it seemed that no county was prepared to take a punt on him. Despite the frustration that he undoubtedly felt, he continued to work hard in the nets and in the middle. In 2019, he scored heavily for Kent 2’s but the county seemed reluctant to offer him a contract so he went to Nottinghamshire instead, making his first-class debut in September of that year. Before then he had been looked at by Hampshire, Durham and Middlesex (once by each). In 2017, whilst watching Sussex 2nd XI bowled out twice in 100.4 overs by Middlesex at Old Deer Park, I suggested to Rob Andrew, who had recently taken over as Sussex’s Chief Executive, that there was a lad in the nets who would offer more than any of his youngsters on display. To be fair to Rob, he did pass the message on to his coaching staff but noting came of it. Compo was offered a game at Horsham but the call came at about 10pm the night before the game and he had to decline on the basis that he would not be able to get there.

After Notts released him at the end of last season, Kent released that Ben might be what they needed and so gave him a second chance to have a crack at professional cricket. Knowing that this could be his last chance, he took himself off to Zimbabwe to play for the Mountaineers in the domestic competition there. Unsurprisingly he scored heavily and seems now to have brought this form home with him. Here at Richmond we are not surprised by the patience and technique that he has shown in his first three innings for Kent. We have always known that he has the potential to succeed. More importantly perhaps, we know that he has the temperament and we are celebrating his success. Above all, what he has proved so far is that a young player should not give up on his dream but that to achieve it, you have to show grit and determination and be prepared to work damned hard.

None of us can know what he might go on to achieve in the game but what we do know is that he will give it his best shot. As a club we are rightfully proud that he has performed so well in recent weeks. He remains close to the players who he took the field with for Richmond and hopefully will always be. After all, once a Ranger, always a Ranger!

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