The Leicester defender, once a better cricketer than footballer, has emerged as one of Gareth Southgate’s brightest young talents
Ben Chilwell was in his early teens when he first came to England’s attention as one of the most promising young players around. Footage posted on social media this week, showing him nonchalantly dispatching a full-toss from Marc Albrighton as Kasper Schmeichel kept wicket, suggests that the ability with the bat is still there.
“Maybe I was an even better cricketer than a footballer,” Chilwell says. “I was in the Northants academy set-up and went to Loughborough University for three days for an ECB young England Talents [event]. Then started playing men’s cricket when I was 15. That’s when I stopped enjoying it. It was long days, 50-over games with men 15 years older who you don’t really have anything in common with, all talking about going to the pub.”