That former Yorkshire president Dickie Bird was suggesting Ben Coad as an outside chance for an England Test call-up in 2017 just shows how spectacular the seamer’s breakthrough summer was.
Coad, having sporadically played first-team cricket since debuting in 2013, finished the summer with 50 wickets in the Specsavers County Championship and scooped three end of season awards, including Members’ and Players’ Player of the Year.
Coad signed terms as a junior professional with the county ahead of the 2014 summer having played six 40-over matches in the Yorkshire first-team the year before, taking three wickets.
He has since debuted in T20 and Championship cricket for the White Rose side, the latter coming in 2016 against Durham at Emirates Riverside.
Coad also impressed during the 2016 pre-season tour to the UAE, helping Yorkshire win the Emirates Airline T20 competition with some excellent death bowling.
That form earned him a starting berth in their T20 Blast opener against Leicestershire.
Coad claimed one second-innings wicket against Durham in that aforementioned Championship draw, with his maiden first-class scalp that of Bradford-born bowler Usman Arshad.
He has impressed for the Yorkshire Academy and second XI, and he was described as a bowler similar to Steve Patterson by former seconds coach Paul Farbrace.
“He’s your workhorse who will bowl you 25 overs a day without bowling any rubbish. He’s a good, solid day in day out performer. We’ve got very good hopes for him,” he explained before leaving Emerald Headingley.
It was, therefore, quite ironic that Coad ousted Patterson from Yorkshire’s team for parts of the 2017 campaign, which started for him with a six-wicket haul in a home defeat against Hampshire and a total of 31 wickets in the first five four-day games.
Coad’s Hampshire haul was a career best 6-37, although he beat it shortly afterwards with 6-25 in the first innings of a win over Lancashire at Emerald Headingley. He even dismissed Shiv Chanderpaul in both innings.
Sandwiched in between, he claimed 10 wickets in the win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
His form came on the back of building up his pace through winter work on a newly introduced pace bowling programme for the younger players in the squad, the brainchild of Andrew Gale and Rich Pyrah.
Coad, who played Yorkshire Under 15s cricket in 2009, was educated at Thirsk School and Sixth Form College, where Karl Carver – two years younger – was also educated.
In August 2011, he took 6-31 for the Academy in a Yorkshire Premier League match against York in August.
Another six-wicket haul for the Academy came in the same competition against Appleby Frodingham in June 2012, this time 6-16 from nine overs. Made his second-team debut in a Championship match against Worcestershire later that month.
Coad went on the senior pre-season tour to Barbados in March 2013 before taking advantage of the county’s decision to use the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition to blood young players. He played six matches, making his first-team debut against Gloucestershire at Headingley in early June.
Coad was awarded the first ever Kevin Armitage Scholarship, sponsored by the late Kevin Armitage and facilitated by the Yorkshire Pride Lottery, enabling him to travel overseas and improve his skills over the winter.
He travelled to Australia to begin a six-week programme at the Darren Lehmann Coaching Academy in January 2014. Played one List A match against Sri Lanka A at Headingley in July.
The then 21-year-old made his Twenty20 debut against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road in mid-July 2015, returning an encouraging 2-24 from three overs in defeat.
A week later at Headingley, he played against the defending champions Birmingham and took another two wickets – this time 2-30 from four overs – in an impressive win.
Approximately five weeks before, Coad took 10 wickets in the match as Yorkshire seconds beat Northants in a three-day Championship match by an innings.
Coad started the T20 Blast campaign of 2016, taking two wickets in three appearances, to go alongside two first-class appearances, including one in the Championship.
Added to his Championship heroics in 2017, he took eight wickets in four one-day appearances, including a best of 4-63 in a win over Derbyshire at Headingley.
NameBen Oliver Coad
BornJanuary 10, 1994, Harrogate, Yorkshire
RoleRight-arm fast-medium, right-handed batsman
County DebutYorkshire v Gloucestershire at Leeds, Jun 2, 2013
First ClassDurham v Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street, Jun 20-23, 2016