Warwickshire County Cricket Club has announced the signing of wicket-keeper/batter Chris Benjamin on a three-year contract.
Benjamin joined the Bears on a rookie contract in July, but a string of impressive performances for the Bears and Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred has rewarded the 22-year-old with an extended stay at Edgbaston.
Johannesburg-born Benjamin has excelled in the white ball game since firing a match-winning 60* on his Bears debut against the Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the Vitality Blast. Four days later, he made his List A debut, striking 50 against Glamorgan in the Royal London Cup.
During The Hundred, Benjamin has continued to develop his skills as a batsman, who can score at 360 degrees. On his Phoenix debut, the right-hander scored a match-winning 24 not out to help his side secure their first win of the tournament, before picking up the man of the match award two weeks later after his unbeaten 37 from 16 balls (five fours, one six) showcased his range of power hitting.
“We’re delighted that Chris has committed his immediate future to the county,” said Warwickshire Director of Cricket Paul Farbrace. “Chris has shown his incredible talent not just in front of the Warwickshire Members, but on the world stage too in The Hundred.
“Since signing his rookie contract, Chris has grabbed his opportunity with both hands and aged only 22, we believe that he has the opportunity to reach the higher echelons of the game.”
Benjamin first caught the eye of Warwickshire Second Team Coach Ian Westwood at an ECB trials day at Loughborough two years ago and was given the opportunity to impress earlier this year.
Benjamin, who has played two first class matches for Durham MCCU, where he studied finance and accounting, did just that scoring 149 from 66 balls with 12 fours and ten sixes, a record for a Warwickshire Second XI player, in a T20 against Glamorgan at Newport in June.
Benjamin then captained the Bears in the Second XI Twenty20 Trophy triumph at Finals Day at Arundel a week later.
Chris Benjamin said: “I’m delighted to tie-down my future with Warwickshire County Cricket Club. The Bears have believed in me from the beginning after offering me a trial and rookie contract and I can’t wait to repay their faith.
“The Bears squad have potential to win trophies and I want to contribute to future success in the short and long-term in all formats.”