Ben Geddes beams about captaining Surrey CCC so young
Ben Geddes only turned 21 on the last day of July but, thanks to this year’s Royal London Cup, he has already led his native Surrey in eight matches.
“It makes me feel very proud to have the opportunity to captain one of the best cricket clubs in the world at my age,” said Epsom-born Geddes.
“When I was asked to lead the team in the Royal London Cup it was something that I really jumped at. I’ve always loved captaining, right through the Surrey age group sides from Under 14 onwards and for my school and club teams.
“It’s been a brilliant experience and I’ve loved every minute of it. We’ve been very competitive on the field, even though we’ve been a very young team, and I think we’ve all learned a lot during this tournament.”
Surrey’s loss of a remarkable 15 players to The Hundred and to England international calls – by far the most of any county – may not have done much for their chances of winning the 50-over Cup, but it gave Geddes and many of his rookie teammates a golden opportunity to accelerate their fledgling careers and show they have what it takes to succeed at senior professional level.
Moreover, from the 13 players who have featured in this summer’s Royal London Cup, no fewer than 11 have come through Surrey’s age group or Second XI teams. Nineteen-year-old all-rounder Tom Lawes’ performances, with bat and ball, have particularly stood out.
Geddes, meanwhile, has had the responsibility of opening every innings as well as captaining a side without a single capped player, and a final tally of two wins, a thrilling tie against Warwickshire and five defeats from their eight Group A fixtures does not even begin to tell the story of what has been a memorable three weeks in his young cricketing life.
“I think the way we have performed as a team shows just what great depth of talent we have at the club,” added Geddes, who led Surrey Under 17s to the national championship title four years ago. “We have been fielding a number of current Surrey Academy players and Yousef Majid, who has bowled his left-arm spin so well throughout the tournament, only left school this summer.
“Everyone has contributed at some stage and I could not have asked for a better attitude out in the field. We have gone out there trying to win every game and I think we’ve always been competitive against some good sides with far more experienced players in them. Yes, we’ve a lot still to learn but we’ve all taken a lot from these matches.”
Geddes made both his first-class and LV= Insurance County Championship bows earlier this summer, hitting a hundred in his debut match against a Sri Lankan Development XI at Guildford and also hitting a championship century against Kent at the Kia Oval.
In his eight Royal London Cup innings he scored 215 runs, including 73 against Leicestershire and 71 against Gloucestershire and, besides his four first-class matches to date, has still played only 12 List A and six Vitality Blast games in white-ball cricket.
But, whatever his future holds, Geddes has now captained Surrey in eight of his first 22 senior appearances – and such an experience is like gold dust at this early stage of his career.