Full name Benjamin Thomas Foakes
Born February 15, 1993, Colchester, Essex
Current age 24 years 13 days
Major teams Colts Cricket Club, England Lions, England Under-17s, England Under-19s, Essex, Essex 2nd XI, Surrey, Surrey 2nd XI
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|First-class debut||Essex v Sri Lankans at Chelmsford, Jun 10-12, 2011 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Sri Lanka A v England Lions at Dambulla, Feb 24-27, 2017 scorecard|
|List A debut||Victoria v England Lions at Melbourne, Feb 7, 2013 scorecard|
|Last List A||United Arab Emirates v England Lions at Dubai (DSC), Dec 5, 2016 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Middlesex v Essex at Lord's, May 17, 2014 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Surrey v Kent at The Oval, Jul 29, 2016 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|30, 5c/0s, 54, 3c/2s||Eng Lions||v Sri Lanka A||Dambulla||24 Feb 2017||FC|
|7, 1c/0s, 2, 2c/0s||Eng Lions||v Sri Lanka A||Pallekele||17 Feb 2017||FC|
|-||Eng Lions||v SL Pres. XI||Moratuwa||12 Feb 2017||Other|
|70, 1c/0s, 89*, 0c/2s||Eng Lions||v Afghanistan||Abu Dhabi||7 Dec 2016||FC|
|20||Eng Lions||v U.A.E.||Dubai (DSC)||5 Dec 2016||LA|
|0, 0c/0s||Eng Lions||v U.A.E.||Dubai (DSC)||3 Dec 2016||LA|
|3c/0s||Eng Lions||v U.A.E.||Dubai (DSC)||1 Dec 2016||LA|
|0, 1c/0s||Surrey||v Warwickshire||Lord's||17 Sep 2016||LA|
|1c/0s, 6, 2c/0s, 20||Surrey||v Durham||Chester-le-Street||12 Sep 2016||FC|
|48, 5c/0s||Surrey||v Hampshire||The Oval||6 Sep 2016||FC|
In the unstoppable move to the age of the wicketkeeper-batsman, there has been a very obvious compromise: proficiency in front of the stumps has often come at the expense of dexterity behind them. Only a few natural wicketkeepers with a batting pedigree manage to escape that analysis. In Ben Foakes, Surrey - and perhaps one day soon England - imagine they have such a player.
Foakes emerged as a promising wicketkeeper-batsman at Essex, earmarked from an early age as an England prospect, but due to the longevity of James Foster, another one-time prodigy, he left to seek further opportunities with Surrey at the end of 2014. It was a wise choice. He realised that he found it hard to motivate himself when he played for Essex as a batsman, but the moment he got the chance to work on his wicketkeeping with Bruce French in England age group sides his enthusiasm was unbounded.
A regular at age-group level for his country, Foakes was England's leading run-scorer at the 2012 U-19 World Cup, having made 93 on Championship debut earlier in the summer. Picked for the Lions' limited-overs tour of Australia in 2012-13 before making his List A debut, Foakes was Jonny Bairstow's understudy in Sri Lanka the following winter - a role he was used to filling at Essex, with Foster still going strong. He made his maiden first-class and Championship centuries during the 2013 season and, in a mark of England's future planning, was invited to train with the squad and act as 12th man for the first Ashes Test of the summer at Trent Bridge. At 19, with only five first-class matches for Essex, he was selected for the England Lions' tour of Australia at the start of 2013. The tour proved almost as disastrous as the senior tour Down Under later that year, and yet Foakes won a significant admirer: Andy Flower, who was en route to New Zealand for England's series there.
It was another season before Foakes got the gloves fulltime at Surrey, but eventually he ousted Steve Davies, leaving Davies confused as to the exact nature of his ambitions: he left for Somerset at the end of 2016. Gary Wilson, another regular Surrey wicketkeeper, moved to Derbyshire. Foakes averaged 44 in the Championship, including a career-best 141 not out against Hampshire in July to turn Surrey's season. He could be an attritional batsman, as his 59 not out from 235 balls against Middlesex in May testified, but he topped the Royal London Cup averages at better than a run a ball, nothing better than his beautifully-judged 90 against Yorkshire in the semi-final at Headingley.
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