Wimbledon CC skipper demands Dons dominance

Stepping into big shoes: Chris Benham, in action with the bat in last season’s win over Sunbury, wants Wimbledon to dominate the club scene for years to come                  SP78638

Stepping into big shoes: Chris Benham, in action with the bat in last season’s win over Sunbury, wants Wimbledon to dominate the club scene for years to come SP78638

First published in Sport Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Wimbledon have dominated the club cricket scene for the past three seasons, but new skipper Chris Benham wants to step it up a notch.

In only his second year with the club, the 31-year-old has taken over the reins from the hugely successful Neil Turk, who decided it was time for a change after four seasons in charge but will still take in his place in the team.

Under his leadership, Wimbledon won the Surrey Championship Premier Division title three seasons on the bounce.

On the national scene, the Church Road side have also won back-to-back ECB National Club T20 titles.

However, undaunted by filling such big shoes, Benham is looking to extend Wimbledon’s dominance with the bat and ball for at least another six years.

He said: “I am really looking forward to the challenge and continuing Neil’s good work.

“It is all about winning games, and winning is in my set-up. I want the next four to six years to be one of the most successful periods for the club.

“I spoke to the players a few weeks ago and told them I am a positive thinking person, and I firmly believe if we play to the best of our ability, then we can continue to win titles and cups.”

The former Hampshire CCC man added: “I want to make Church Road a place where teams fear to come.”

While Turk will remain in the side, one man Benham will be missing is opener Graham Grace – the stalwart of eight years service boasted 5,356 runs in 144 games at an average of 43.9.

Among the new names is all rounder James Johnston, who has picked up four wickets in 12 pre-season overs.

Benham said: “Losing Graham is disappointing, but we’ve brought in some good talent, and it has shown in a decent pre-season.

“We’ve won two and lost one, and now we’re all really looking forward to Saturday and finally getting out there to play some competitive cricket.

“It is easy to get up for the first game and we have Guildford coming to Church Road this weekend, we just need to make sure we’re up for every game.”

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