Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024


Worcestershire pace bowler Ben Gibbon is aiming to impress sufficiently to be given another opportunity to take the new ball after a winter of working with the coaching team.

But the left-armer knows the importance of performing at his best from the very first delivery of the innings.

Gibbon had a spell of five games during the first half of the 2023 season – against Sussex (twice), Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and Yorkshire – when he was entrusted with that role.

He is aware of having tended to bowl better in his latter spells rather than when he first comes into the attack since signing for Worcestershire two years ago and is determined to address that challenge.

The 23-year-old has been put through his paces since November at New Road and Malvern after spending four successful months the previous winter playing grade cricket in Australia for Scarborough.

He said: “This winter has given me chance to work on things with Richo (Alan Richardson) and Jonesey (Richard Jones).

“Last winter took it out of me a little bit. When I was in Australia, I just wanted to bowl as many overs as I could just to improve but, in hindsight, I over bowled myself.

“I felt okay the first half of last season but, in the second part, fatigue set in a little but this winter stopping here and working with the coaches has been beneficial.

“We’ve been working on my action, my front arm, my front side which collapses away a little bit, which then should improve my accuracy and consistency all being well. That is the idea behind it.”

Gibbon, who signed a new three year contract last April, added: “Although I wasn’t pleased with my performances during the second half, I probably learnt the most out of last season.

“I took a lot of learnings from the year and hopefully I can build on them this year.

“I enjoyed taking the new ball when I had the chance. You get the most out of it then and hopefully this year I can do it a couple more times and take a few wickets.

“The difficulty I’ve got is I’ve always not started my spell as I would like and then have dragged it back well.

“My figures always look okay by the end of the spell. It’s just how I start my spell and working out a way to start well.

“I feel like I bowl better when I’m four or five overs in but at the top level you can’t have three or four overs to just ease into it and that’s something I’ve got to learn.

“The three year contract gave me a lot of confidence and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years and hopefully at the start of the year I can put my foot down and get into the first team.

“There is a chance to stake a claim and hopefully I can be one of those guys who cements a spot come the first Championship game and moving forward into the white ball and 50 over cricket.”

Gibbon also demonstrated his capabilities with the bat on several occasions and averaged 23.20.

He shepherded Matthew Waite to a maiden century against Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground after featuring in a last wicket partnership of 82.

Gibbon also figured in a 10th wicket stand of 63 with Adam Finch against Yorkshire at New Road before the pair immediately went straight back out to open in the second innings.

He said: “I’m glad it is going in the right direction. Hopefully with a bit of batting behind me, I can add another string to my bow and maybe it will help when deciding on selection.

“Facing Ben Coad and Matthew Fisher with the new ball was a good experience against Yorkshire.

“When we went straight back in for the second innings, I was surprised but I was glad to go back out there and enjoyed it.”