Ben Slater insists this week’s MCC University fixture against Durham will be a tough test, but is hoping a good result will hold Derbyshire in good stead ahead of this Sunday's fixture with Essex at Leek Cricket Club.
The 21-year-old competed in his maiden first-class match for the Club last week versus Surrey – the same opponents he made his first-class debut against for Bradford/Leeds MCCU in 2012.
Slater believes fixtures against university sides give youngsters the perfect opportunity to test their ability against professional outfits and the left-handed batsman is expecting a difficult game against Durham MCCU, which begins on Wednesday 5th June; 11am start.
“I don’t think it will be an easy game this week,” Slater said. “I know the MCCU sides from obviously playing at that level before. When I was up a Leeds we won a few games and pushed all the counties we played – it was a good experience.
“Lads at university get the chance to test their skills against professional counties so it is good for these university teams to get the opportunity to come up against first-class counties as they attempt to make it as a professional cricketer.
“But of course now I am with Derbyshire and we want to win. It will be good practice for us as we prepare for the weekend’s fixture with Essex at Leek and as we continue our four-day campaign the following Wednesday against Nottinghamshire.
“Personally it will hopefully be a good opportunity for me to go out and spend some time in the middle - and hopefully score a few runs.
“Last week was a special week for me. I was delighted to make my first class debut for the Club against Surrey. It was a great experience - I would have liked a few more runs, but I can’t complain.
“There were a few nerves. I was sat inside, however, and I expected to feel a lot more nerves then I did, but when I started to walk out I began to feel the nerves. But luckily I managed to get off the mark second ball and I think that helped a lot.
“I had been in good form for the seconds scoring back-to-back 50s and an unbeaten century and now I hope to take that form forward into the first team and kick on from there.”
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