Monday, September 12th, 2022


Alan Richardson has praised Worcestershire pace bowler, Ben Gibbon, for the progress he has made in his first season of county cricket and is like a “sponge” with his willingness to soak up knowledge and the desire to learn and evolve as a player.

Gibbon signed a two year contract until the end of the 2023 season after impressing for Cheshire and while on trial for the Seconds last summer.

He has played four LV=Insurance County Championship matches and returned career best figures of 22-3-87-4 against Glamorgan at Cardiff, his second four-for in an encouraging start.

Being a left armer, Gibbon gives the attack variety and, although the 22-year-old still has plenty to learn, Bowling Coach Richardson says he has “not looked out of place.”

Richardson said: “He bowled a lovely line and length at Cardiff. That was one of Ben’s qualities that we noticed along with the fact that he really wanted to bowl.

“He loves bowling, he loves bowling long spells, and having that left arm angle he is comfortable bowling over and around the wicket.

“It gives us a real nice variety in the attack and he is always willing. He is still very inexperienced and raw, with loads to learn still.

“But he is a sponge in that he wants to learn, he wants to get better and keep evolving.”

As regards his first season of professional cricket, Richardson said: “He has done what we expected, which is he has not looked out of place.

“What we believe, with Ben being a left armer, is that there is a high ceiling there. There is still obviously plenty of work to be done but he is not going to shy away from that.

“That is one of the things that impressed us as much as anything, apart from his bowling, is that his attitude and work ethic help him improve and get better as he goes along, which is always a nice and exciting feeling to have about a player.

“He definitely had some skills already there. For me now it is about the opportunity to build on those.

“Ben has played four first class games and has got two four-fors already so that shows he has that ability already but, like I said, there are still lots of things for him to work on which is really exciting for him.”

Gibbon has been determined to seize the opportunity offered by him at New Road after years of working on a building side.

Richardson said: “He is desperate to learn and there is a real edge to him in the fact he wants to get better in all his cricket.

“We think he is going to become a better bowler, a better fielder as he goes along, and a better batter.”

The left armer variety that Gibbon provides has helped to provide a balance to the Worcestershire attack. 

Richardson said: “I talk to him quite a bit about that. He can create things through angles that you can’t as a right-armer.

“Around the wicket, he is quite comfortable doing that and the point of release if far wider than anything else a right armer can do and he bowls that well.

“Over the wicket, he is working really on the ability to try and move the ball back into a right hander even if it is only occasionally which keeps the batter honest and it attacks both edges.

“It gives him the ability to bowl at the stumps so that is one of the things that we talk about that he needs to work on.

“Also his ability to bowl at left handers. Being a left arm bowler, stats tell us that can give us a edge and it probably wasn’t a coincidence that he got all three Glamorgan left handers out.”

Gibbon was used to bowling lengthy spells for Cheshire and gave early evidence of that in the away Championship match at Derbyshire when he bounced back from an expensive first spell to bowl 12 overs on the spot and pick up some vital wickets.

Richardson said: “That was something that shone out to us when we first met him. We talked about his philosophy about his bowling, and he made it very clear early on that he was used to and liked bowling long spells.

“He is prepared to wheel away in good areas for long periods of time.

“I remember that day at Derby very well. It was only his second game and he started probably nowhere near as well as he would have liked.

“But he came back really strongly, got a couple of key wickets, got Shan Masood out in that spell, which is no mean feat, a big scalp for Ben.

“It showed 1) he has the ability to bowl for long periods of time and 2) there are also balls in there where he can get some top players out for us.”