Chris Benbow to spend winter with Melbourne Renegades
Second XI coach to spend winter down under
Lancashire Second XI coach Chris Benbow is repeating Mark Chilton’s trip to Melbourne and the Big Bash this winter to expand his experience.
Benbow is two years into his role with the Red Rose twos having previously worked full-time as the first-team analyst and support coach. He has already overseen title success in the Championship and T20 competitions.
He will be spending time with the Melbourne Renegades, re-uniting with Joe Mennie, and replicating what Chilton did last year as part of the two clubs’ knowledge sharing agreement.
Last summer, Renegades assistant coach Lachlan Stevens spent time at Emirates Old Trafford during the Royal London One-Day Cup.
“I meet up with the squad on December 31,” explained Benbow.
“I think the first game I’m involved in is on January 1, the Melbourne derby at the MCG.
“Then I’m due to finish with them on January 20.
“I’ve got a little bit of time after that before I fly home. I’ve got some friends in Brisbane and also an invitation from Jimmy Faulkner to go over to Tasmania to catch up with him. I’ll see what happens.
“I’m expecting to learn loads out there. It’s just about getting out there and seeing how different organisations do the things you do but in another way.
“I’ll get exposure to more overseas players in the Big Bash. I know we have plenty of overseas players in the Blast, but I don’t get to work with them as often being with the seconds.
“You’re also working with experienced coaches like Andrew McDonald, who has also worked in the IPL and played extensively for Australia. To spend a month with him and pick his brains should be invaluable.”
Lancashire seconds won the T20 title, coming through a rain-affected Finals Day at Arundel in August, and Benbow has made a seamless transition into his role.
“We spoke at length as a coaching team about the importance of having a constant as coach within the second team,” he continued.
“That enables the lads to get to know what second-team cricket is about, what I’m about.
“I’ve fed off the successes of Chilly (Mark Chilton) in the role.
“We’ve gone a little bit younger with the seconds recently by incorporating more Academy lads.
“My job is to be the coach that each individual needs me to be. I’m definitely not the same person with everybody. Each of the lads have their own idiosyncrasies, and I’ve got to cater for that.
“We had a great competition when we won the Championship in 2017. We had a lot of pros in there, but we also gave a lot of experience to young lads.
“Last year, similarly with the T20 we had a good mix. Every single one of the Academy lads had exposure at some point. A lot of guys outside of our pathway also got chances.
“We’re getting to look at a lot of young lads and finding out who’s knocking on the door for future honours.”
Next year will see a number of players Benbow has helped develop form a key part of the first team’s bid for County Championship promotion.
The names of Josh Bohannon, Rob Jones and Brooke Guest spring to mind immediately having played in the final game of 2018 against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
“Rob’s had some exposure before and has runs behind him,” said Benbow. “How he played at Hampshire for his 60-odd, he didn’t want the season to end.
“He looked a million dollars, and that was the Rob Jones we saw when he made his debut at Surrey in 2016 and got a gutsy 30 and then got his hundred against Middlesex.
“I’ve no doubt Rob is going to have a really successful year in 2019.
“It’s similar with Josh. He’s come in and is a gutsy lad - no fear. Guesty is also going to be in and around it.
“We have plenty of young talent pushing for spots. It’s a very exciting time for the club.”