Benjamin Thomas Slater
August 26, 1991, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Left hand bat
Right arm slow
Ben Slater, one of many Derbyshire homegrown talents, left for East Midlands rivals Nottinghamshire shortly before the end of the 2018 season, armed with an impressive record in List A cricket - averaging 51.84 in 32 games - but with questions remaining about what influence he could carry in the other formats. He began life at his new county well as Notts just escaped relegation in the Championship, bringing hopes that he could put right Nottinghamshire's unimpressive record when it came to signing opening batsmen over the past decade or more.
News of his move was somewhat hamfisted. The Notts website announced that he had signed, and was available for a match against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, when he was actually playing for Derbyshire at Hove. His Derbyshire career ended sickeningly when he was struck by a short ball from Jofra Archer and retired hurt under concussion protocols.
He struggled for runs in his first full season at Notts, averaging a shade above 20 in the Championship, and found himself surplus to requirements at the start of the Bob Willis Trophy the following summer. But a hastily-arranged loan to Leicestershire started with an innings of 172 - his first-class best - against Lancashire and he was recalled two weeks later, just in time to make 142 for Notts against the same opposition. Heading into 2021, he was assured of his spot in the Championship side.
Slater is a left-handed middle-order batsman with a busy style which initially led some Derbyshire observers to compare him to the former Lancashire and England batsman Neil Fairbrother, but it was at the top of the order where he eventually settled and where Notts wanted him to develop.
Slater's links with Derbyshire went back to Under-13 level and he made his Second XI debut in 2009. He made his first-class debut for Leeds/Bradford MCCU against Surrey in April 2012. At the invitation of Derbyshire's batting coach, Dave Houghton, he went to Zimbabwe after the close of the English domestic season and scored 89 in his debut first-class innings for Southern Rocks against Mashonaland Eagles.
He scored his maiden first-class century during the final round of the Division Two Championship against Leicestershire in 2014 - and adding a second one in the same match for good measure. By the time he departed after 65 first-lass matches he had only added two more.
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