Ben Christopher Brown
November 23, 1988, Crawley, Sussex
Right hand bat
Slow left arm orthodox
Ben Brown's career blossomed in 2015 when he gained a reputation as one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen in the country. In the shake-up that followed Sussex's relegation from the Championship, he was also named as vice-captain and hailed by the county's new head coach Mark Davis as "a natural leader". His accession following the retirement of Matt Prior was complete.
Brown found himself fulfilling captaincy duties sooner than he had anticipated when Luke Wright managed only six Championship matches in 2016, his first season in charge. Brown responded wonderfully, averaging over 50 with the bat, including 159 not out against Glamorgan. He was then appointed Sussex captain when Luke Wright stepped down midway through 2017, saying the role was affecting him on and off the pitch and maintained the role under a new coach, Jason Gillespie.
Brown came through Sussex's youth set-up from Under-11 level. He played Under-19s cricket for England in 2006-07 and made his county debut the following summer. His first-class debut came against Sri Lanka A in the same season, when he scored 46 off 25 balls. In 2010 he made a century for Sussex against Derbyshire in his seventh first-class game.
He became a virtual ever-present for Sussex in the Championship because of Matt Prior's involvement in the England side and the move of Andrew Hodd to Yorkshire. He acquitted himself ably in 2013, averaging nearly 40 with the bat. But his batting average declined a year later, despite a career-best 163 against Durham at Hove, and Prior's anticipated recovery from an Achilles operation, combined with the loss of his England place to Jos Buttler in the aftermath of a disastrous 2013-14 Ashes tour, suggested that Brown would face stiff competition in 2015. But surgery could not save Prior's career and Brown accepted a long-term contract as he anticipated life as a valued senior player.
Gillespie's arrival rejuvenated Sussex and Brown was at the centre of a successful 2018 season, topping the averages as their promotion challenge only faded deep into September. Another impressive personal season followed in 2019, despite the club's underwhelming year.
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