Ben Church Joins the Somerset Academy

Ben Church is one of three young players who have recently joined the Somerset Academy.

We caught up with him to find out a little bit more about his journey so far.

Ben is a right-handed top order batter and wicket-keeper who hails from Bath where he attended Beechen Cliff School before moving to Taunton School last year.

Ben explained how he started to play cricket. “Lansdown Cricket Club is just on my doorstep,” he said. “So I grew up watching my Dad playing there. I was always up there at the weekends with the rest of the lads around my age and it’s just gone on from there.

“I started playing for Lansdown, and then a couple of years ago I moved to play for Bath Cricket Club. I went for a Somerset trial at Under 10 level and got selected. I’ve have been involved ever since.”

Talking about last season, Ben said: “I was pretty pleased with the way that the 2023 season went for me. I went to Sri Lanka in February, which was a great opportunity and a lot of fun. I then took that into the season.

“I had some decent scores and made an unbeaten hundred for Somerset Under 18s against Wales at Newport Cricket Club, which was pretty special as it’s my only century to date. Hopefully there will be more to come. I also played a few T20 games for the Somerset Under 18s which was a good opportunity.”

How has Ben found the move up to playing in adult league cricket?

“Playing adult cricket at Bath has helped me quite a lot. It’s a step up and I can feed off the older players, who plan a lot more. The bowlers are more consistent and know more about what they’re doing and are more experienced, so I think it’s helped me to be more disciplined in my game .

“My best match would be the one that I got my ton in earlier 2023. I was batting at number seven and when I went in we were about 100 behind Wales. I was batting with Seb Linnitt, who was going well. I was batting around him and trying to build a platform, but then we lost a few wickets and I had to push on. I had a decent partnership with our number 11 and that got us a big lead which was good enough for us to go on and get the win. My century helped us to win the game.”

What is Ben hoping to gain from his time on the Academy?

“I’m looking forward to enjoying these next few years on the Academy and hopefully I can improve and get as close as I can to becoming a professional cricketer. That’s my goal.

“In 2024, I just want to build on my previous season and take that forward, get bigger scores and push to get big hundreds. I want to just bat, bat, bat. With my ‘keeping, I hope I can get some opportunities in the Somerset Second XI, which will be a challenge, but it will be a great if it comes my way.”

Ben added: “I want to be the best I can be and if that’s playing for Somerset and England that’s what I’d like to do.”