With the season now less than a fortnight away, this week’s spotlight is on our new 1st XI Captain, Adam Benton…

Hello Mr Captain, let’s start with how you came to join Cannock CC?

I came about playing cricket for Cannock through club legend John Cooke. We both went to school together and played cricket in PE. After top edging him for six he realised he had found the perfect number 11 and specialist fielder for the under 13’s. After my first game of fielding fine leg to fine leg, I was hooked.

You’re widely regarded as being the most improved player at the club over the last three years, what do you put your improvement down to?

Ummm that’s a tough one. I think finally having the confidence installed in me by skipper, Will Fleet. I felt I could express whatever talent I have into the first team. Also growing up and not letting what happens on a cricket pitch get to me too much has helped. Having a clear mind and doing the basics right I think is a key to successful batting.

And that improvement resulted in you amassing a brilliant 1,249 runs last season, is there one innings from 2017 that particularly stands out?

Now that’s a tough one. Mainly because I have forgotten so many due to me suffering from dehydration every week. The main one that sticks out is the 60 not out I scored at Rugeley because of how poor the pitch was and how well one of their bowlers was bowling. It was my first game as a captain, we were only chasing 110 and chased it seven down. I felt a sense of responsibility to get the team over the line as captain which is something I will hopefully take into this season.

What’s your overall favourite on-field memory from your time at Cannock CC?

I’ve been very lucky to play with some incredible players on the pitch, however there are those players (e.g. Belly, the Martins, Ste Allison, Davo) who you just can’t help laughing at for both their humour and on-field mishaps. There are two moments that really stand out for very different reasons. Firstly, John Cooke falling down a drain on the pitch after throwing up while running a three earlier in the day. Sums up the Sunday B’s.

Secondly I’d say some of the performances young Eddy Fleet put in during the 2012 & 2013 seasons. It was those spells that made me enjoy fielding. Every ball you were waiting for a catch and to celebrate wickets. In the space of two overs he would change games! I will always remember his will and drive to win games for Cannock at whatever cost. Great bowler who we all look forward to playing the odd game this year!

And what’s been your favourite off-field moment?

100% would be watching the second team win the 20/20 final. It was great to see the whole club supporting the second team, it really showed we are one Club. When Cookie slid, dived and stopped the ball at cover and then ran out the batsman to win the game, seeing all the 1st/3rd/4th team players and Club members run onto the pitch to celebrate their success with them. Brilliant win!

You’ve now been appointed as First team captain, what are your aims for 2018?

My aim for the first team is to help improve the ability of the players we have in the squad. I’m looking forward to getting the extra 10-20% out of the players through smarter training. We have plenty of talent in the team however we should never stop trying to improve. As a club captain, my aim is to bridge the gap between the senior teams and junior section, making us one Club.

And finally…how come you can’t bat for longer than three overs without calling for a drink???

Now I blame batting with the likes of Will Fleet and Zak Shingler who fail to reach the boundaries and force me to run all the time. Smaller boundaries are needed this year I think, that should resolve the issue.

Thanks for your time Adam, I’ll let you get back to plotting our league winning campaign.

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