Ben Slater had just celebrated his 27th birthday when he made the short trip across the East Midlands from Derbyshire to Nottinghamshire, initially on ‘loan’, to Trent Bridge in August 2018. He played in Notts’ last four County Championship games that summer, all of which were home fixtures.
With five seasons of senior cricket under his belt he was seen by Notts as a young but experienced player capable of being the bridge at the top of the batting order between older, established batsmen and the clutch of impressive, but relatively untried, youngsters coming through from the Second Eleven and the Academy.
Slater, born on 26 August 1991 in Chesterfield, signed for Notts at the start of the 2019 season and missed only one Championship game. In his first match for Nottinghamshire, versus Cambridge MCCU, he announced himself with an innings of 130 opening the batting – at that time his top score in First-Class cricket. That was, though, to be his only century, he also made one fifty, in a season where all the county batsmen struggled and that ended in the disappointment of relegation.
A left-handed batsman that can bowl right-arm leg breaks – though in First-Class cricket he is not often called upon – Slater is now firmly established as a senior and influential batter at the top of the order in all three formats of the game. In April 2022, he carried his bat for a career-best 225no against Durham at the Riverside Stadium; in that same season he took his only First-Class wicket to date - Max Holden of Middlesex caught by Steven Mullaney as Slater recorded the perhaps unlikely figures of 2-1-1-1!
He made 172 in the first match of the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy while on loan to Leicestershire and scored another century on his return to Nottinghamshire - ironically against the same opponents, Lancashire.
His somewhat unflattering nick-name of the 'Chesterfield Churner' has more to do with cricketers' affection for alliteration rather than his batting style. Indeed, he was named Nottinghamshire’s Championship Player of the 2020 Season, having hit 228 runs across three Bob Willis Trophy innings for the Green and Golds, at an average of 76.00.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 649