Bowler Sanderson rebuilding his career at Northants

A couple of years ago, Ben Sanderson was working on a building site.

Friday, 12th August 2016, 7:00 am
Northamptonshire v Leicestershire County Championship May 2016 Ben Sanderson

But last week, the bowler was helping Northants rebuild their County Championship campaign.

The 27-year-old took 10 wickets in the match, including seven for 22 in the second innings, as David Ripley’s side destroyed Glamorgan in Swansea.

The comprehensive 251-run success saw Sanderson deservedly earn plenty of plaudits from his team-mates and those keeping an eye on the game from afar.

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And that was such a sweet feeling for the man of the moment as he and his team-mates celebrated their first four-day win of the season.

“It was a great confidence booster for me,” Sanderson said. “I’ve had some hard times in cricket in the past with what happened at Yorkshire and not quite making it there, so to come and put some performances together in the Championship has really helped my confidence.

“We have put in a couple of good performances in the Championship of late, with the exception of the defeat to Worcestershire.

“I’ve been bowling well, keeping it tight and we’ve just had a bit of bad luck at times, but hopefully that luck will have changed now for the rest of the season and I can take a few more wickets.”

Those tough times Sanderson alludes to came after he was released by Yorkshire in September, 2011. He had to resort to playing minor counties cricket and was forced to do plenty of hard graft to make ends meet.

“It’s tough to get into their side and then I got released and I was thinking about what I was going to do,” Sanderson said.

“Coming to a place and enjoying it has been fantastic for me and hopefully I can just keep getting better and better.

“I had two years out, playing club cricket, working on a building site, doing dry lining, interiors, nothing too exciting.

“They were cold, wet sites.”

But the only cold, wet sights Sanderson sees now are cricket grounds when the rain comes down.

And he admits those tough times during the past have made him appreciate life at Northants even more.

He said: “Once you’ve been out of the game working nine to five, coming to play cricket is a decent office isn’t it? Playing in front of 6,000, 7,000 is a good place to be.”

Richard Gleeson, who has also been a revelation at Northants since being discovered playing minor counties cricket for Cumberland, is another who has had to work - as a community coach at the Lancashire Cricket Board - while trying to get a break in the professional arena.

And Sanderson said: “Rich has had to miss a couple of training sessions because he’s been working.

“He wasn’t here on Monday because he had to hand out leaflets at one of the women’s games in Lancashire, which is interesting.”

Sanderson is now setting his sights on the next Championship game, which starts on Saturday. Leicestershire will be the visitors to the County Ground.

And Sanderson said: “We haven’t done too well the past couple of times we’ve played them.

“Hopefully we can do well, get another win under our belt and if we go on a run there’s still a slight chance we can get near the top.

“We’re 20-odd points behind third and if a couple of results go our way it could easily change for us.”