Snow balls, not no-balls, were Jeremy Benton’s introduction to an English summer of cricket.
The 20-year-old Lincoln University Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing student and cricket sports scholar, is in the north-east of England on a Durham County Exchange.
Set up through former Blackcap Paul Wiseman who played there for many seasons, it is given to one young promising Canterbury cricketer to improve his cricket over the New Zealand winter.
Despite Jeremy’s first game being snowed out, his enthusiam for the visit is not chilling at all.
Nor is the all-rounder underperforming.
Playing for Whitburn Cricket Club, the Durham County Academy, and Durham County Second XI, he had a 104 not out in his Academy game for Northumberland Minor County, and bowling figures of 5-68 in his first game for Whitburn Cricket Club.
“I'm absolutely loving the cricket season here,” Jeremy says.
He is playing an average of twice a week for up to five days a week.
“It has always been a dream to spend a winter in the UK playing cricket, and with the scholarship opportunity, it has made it an enjoyable but challenging experience.
“The academy program allows me to train, gym and play cricket during the week at an exceptional standard. First-class coaches and facilities are available throughout the duration of the season which gives the opportunity to improve significantly.”
He also regularly spends time with world class cricketers at training or at the gym such as Paul Collingwood, Ben Stokes and Graeme Onions.
“I highly recommended it to any cricketer who is considering playing cricket in 2017 in England to do it. I think you're only young once and the life experience you gain and the friends that you make, it is well worth it,” Jeremy says.
He is also coaching aspiring young cricketers.
He arrived on April 5 and will be there until late August.
He is able to continue his sports scholarship at Lincoln, and when he returns, and gets back into the study, he hopes to achieve a “lifelong ambition of debuting for Canterbury Cricket”.
Image: Jeremy Benton bowling for Whitburn Cricket Club, who were taking on Gateshead Fell Cricket club in a 50 over game.