Ben Compton has shared his desire to establish himself as a first-class cricketer, after taking an unconventional route to securing his first professional contract with Nottinghamshire.
The 25-year-old, who has put pen to paper on a one-year deal, moved from South Africa to England as a teenager, before fighting to establish himself in club and county cricket.
“I came to England straight after school but wasn’t in a player pathway, so it was a challenge to get into the system and get my foot in the door,” he said.
“I started off playing club cricket in the hope that my form there would transcend into a place in a county second XI and then the firsts, but for a while I didn’t really find that to be the case.
“I eventually got a stint with Kent in the first half of the 2019 season, did pretty well, and after one of the games Ant (Botha, Second XI Head Coach) gave me a call and invited me to play for the twos at Notts.
“I’ve gone from strength to strength since, and I’m very grateful to Notts for giving me the opportunity.”
Compton’s season concluded with a brace of appearances for Nottinghamshire’s first team, making his first-team debut against Warwickshire at Trent Bridge and retaining his spot for the season-ending trip to Surrey.
The right-hander opened the batting on debut alongside Club captain Steven Mullaney, and credits the skipper with helping him to settle into his place in the side.
“I was probably at my most nervous just before I walked out, but Steven had a very calming influence,” he said.
“He was great, and allowed me to try and get on with what I needed to do without all the distractions that could present themselves in that situation.
“I felt I fitted in well, and Pete (Moores, Head Coach) and the team were very welcoming.
“In terms of playing at Trent Bridge, I can’t think of many better places to have made my debut.
“It’s a special ground and a great place to play cricket, and with my second game coming at The Oval I was very lucky to be able to play at two pretty good grounds for my first two appearances.”
Compton showed flashes of steel in his maiden County Championship appearance, occupying the crease for an hour as Mullaney began to compile a century at the top of the order.
It is a role which the top-order batsman is comfortable to embrace.
“I think if you look at the Notts batting line-up there are quite a few strokemakers in there, so I’m guessing my role will be to try and provide a bit of stability,” he said.
“I’m not unlike my cousin (former England opener Nick) in that way – I’ve learned a lot from him and my red-ball batting is probably similar to his.
“Nick’s very chuffed for me – he enjoyed playing at Trent Bridge, and he personally felt it would be a great move for me.
“It’s all smiles at the minute, but I know I’ll need to work my socks off to maximise my opportunity.”
Nottinghamshire Membership for the 2020 season is on sale, with those who join for next season currently bestowed exclusive access to applying for international tickets.