Ben Coad has proved over the last three summers that, despite still being in the early stages of his first-class career aged 26, he is one of the best seamers on the county circuit.
Kept mainly to red ball duties, Coad has taken 143 wickets in 34 first-class matches since the start of 2017, his maiden full summer in the first team at Emerald Headingley.
In all, he has taken 145 wickets from 36 appearances dating back to his debut in 2016.
Such have been the quality of his performances, including a best of 6-25 and many other hauls of five wickets or more, there has been a significant degree of surprise within the White Rose county that he is yet to gain England recognition at any level.
The Ripon-born new ball seamer formed a dangerous alliance with South African quick Duanne Olivier in 2019, with his guile supplementing Olivier’s pace and aggression.
Coad, having up to then sporadically played first-team cricket since debuting in 2013, finished his breakthrough 2017 with 50 wickets in the Specsavers County Championship and scooped three end of season awards, including Members’ and Players’ Player of the Year.
In 2018, he followed that up with the Players’ Player award again having taken 48 wickets in nine Division One matches, navigating hip and side injuries as Yorkshire finished fourth for the second year running. He was also awarded his county cap prior to the penultimate round home clash with Hampshire.
Coad signed terms as a junior professional for 2014 having played six 40-over matches in the Yorkshire first-team the year before, taking three wickets.
His Championship debut came in 2016 against Durham at Emirates Riverside.
Coad also impressed during that summer’s 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.
Since then, he has dismissed some of the very best batsmen around – ex-Lancashire batsman Shiv Chanderpaul three times in Roses clashes, for example.
He impressed for the Yorkshire Academy and second XI, and former second-team coach Paul Farbrace once likened him to Steve Patterson’s style of bowling.
Coad actually ousted Patterson from Yorkshire’s team for parts of 2017, 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 Headingley. He dismissed 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.
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.
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.
Coad was on the sidelines for the start of 2018 with a hip flexor injury suffered on pre-season tour in South Africa. But the opening match he missed was washed out without a ball bowled against Essex.
He played in the second match and claimed 10-130 in a win over Nottinghamshire at Headingley.
A regular flow of wickets followed until he was struck down by a side injury in a late July win over Lancashire at Old Trafford, forcing him out until the return fixture in early September. And what a comeback!
He took 5-24 in the second innings to inspire another win, one which all but kept Yorkshire up having slipped into relegation trouble. It also pretty much sent Lancashire down.
He finished the season with 15 wickets in the last three matches, two of which were wins, and it was a surprise when he wasn’t called up by the England Lions for their winter programme.
Coad’s injury was a significant reason behind him not playing a T20 Blast game all summer, with the management keen to limit his workload.
In 2019, Coad claimed 42 wickets from 12 first-class appearances (37 from 11 in the Championship), including a best of 6-52 in the second innings of an early-season victory over Kent at Canterbury.
He missed the majority of the last month of the campaign following illness and did not play a limited overs match all summer. It is something he remains keen to do.
Coad also co-founded DAC Sports – a sports apparel company – with his brother Dan and father Ken in 2016 and briefly spent time as a bowling consultant with the Yorkshire Diamonds women’s squad in mid-2019.
Updated January 2020
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