Ben Walkden, a chip off the old block
Monday 1st June 2015

When a player reaches the later stages of their cricketing career, they dream of being able to play in the same team as their son(s).

A change in the rules which enables players who have been in the 1st or 2nd XI team on a Saturday to play in their club's 3rd XI on a Sunday, allowed Newton le Willows' Ian Walkden, who played in their 1st XI on Saturday, to play alongside his son, Ben.

Ben Walkden, who is just twelve years old, made his senior début with Newton le Willows' 3rd XI last week against Orrell Red Triangle, making 13 as an opening batsman.

Yesterday, he again opened the batting after Newton had been inserted by Rainhill.

Ben batted throughout the innings of 57 overs and finished with an unbeaten 100 from 175 balls with 9x4s out of a total of 195-5d. How much he dominated the batting is shown by the fact that the next highest score was 19, made jointly by Daniel Duxbury and William Griffiths.

The first to congratulate Ben on reaching the magical figure was his father, Ian, who was at the other end.

Rainhill replied with 137-5 in 44 overs as the match was drawn.

A happy father said: "His uncle Mike never did this! Is this the youngest Comp centurion? I was batting with him at the time when he reached it. Due to 'quirks' of the rules, I was allowed to play even though I played for the 1st XI the day before."

Unfortunately we cannot answer Ian's question. Ben may be the youngest player to score a century in a senior L&DCC match but unfortunately records of youngest players are not available.

NEWTON LE WILLOWS 3rd XI 195-5d (57) (B Walkden 100*)
v RAINHILL 3rd XI 137-5 (44) (Clarke 45, Appleton 32)
Result: match drawn
Toss: Rainhill