Kent Academy graduate Ollie Robinson is hoping to build on a double-century in the second XI with more consistent scores with the bat, writes Peter Burrowes.
The 19-year-old has built a reputation as one of the most promising wicketkeepers in the country and received international honours with the England Under-19 squad last summer.
Now he is showing his prowess as a batsman after hitting 223 in the Second XI Championship against Middlesex at The County Ground, Beckenham.
It was a confident and skilful innings by the Sidcup-born player who wants to become a recognised all-rounder. Batting for just over six hours he scored 223 with 25 fours and three sixes and reached his century with a straight six and his double hundred with a boundary.
It is not the first time the youngster has scored a double ton, having previously hit 251 two years ago when playing for Kent 17’s against Sussex at Polo Farm and he also scored 117 last season for the Seconds also against Sussex.
Ollie, who plays for Beckenham in the Shepherd Neame Kent Cricket Premier League and has become a regular in the Kent second team keeping wicket and he relished the chance to open the batting at Beckenham where the pitch is usually batsman friendly.
The 2017 Shepherd Neame Kent League Young Player of the Year said: “The quality of the pitch certainly helped. I feel my batting is more consistent now and like being aggressive when I am batting. I am always looking to make myself better.”
Ollie had good support during his innings from current Kent Academy scholar Kashif Ali who scored 81 in a partnership of 185.
“I knew if I batted sensibly there were runs to be had. I was inspired by knowing that Sean Dickson had scored a treble century (318) on the ground for the first team last season.
“It was just a case of keeping going once I got to the first 100 I started again to think I could keep going for a second ton.”
Robinson made his List A debut against West Indies Under-19s on the 2017 FGS Plant Tour but has yet to make his championship debut for the county. He wants to make his batting good enough that he could even get into the first team as a specialist batsman if the situation arose.
“There is obviously a lot of competition for the wicketkeeping position with Sam Billings and Adam Rouse at the club and I want to be successful at all formats of the game.
“I can’t get to far ahead of myself but the senior players have helped me a lot with the transition from the Academy.”
Ollie is still hoping to receive more international honours this season as he is still eligible to play for England at under-19 level.
But he faces stiff competition there too with Somerset’s Tom Banton the other wicketkeeper who ironically scored a double century against Kent Seconds this season when Robinson was behind the stumps watching it unfold.
The Kent wicketkeeper-batsman received plenty of praise for his innings with club skipper Sam Billings, his club and his grandparents Ken and Eileen congratulating him on his double hundred.
His family regularly watch him play and were disappointed not to watch his innings on a day when they could not be present, but they did follow his innings on their tablet.
The second XI travel to Ageas Bowl for the Second XI Trophy match against Hampshire on Monday (14 May) followed by a three day Championship starting on Tuesday May 15.