Wolverhampton will head into their Birmingham League campaign with the services of Auckland’s VC, and batting all-rounder, Ben Horne.
Horne is a stand-out performer for the Auckland Aces in New Zealand domestic cricket. A punishing top-order batter who now keeps wicket having previously bowled left-arm spin.
Horne is an established player in the Aces set-up with 150 plus appearances across the three formats (2016-present). He is the current vice-captain and has previously skippered the Plunket Shield (first-class) team. He boasts impressive numbers, particularly in first-class, and List A (Ford Trophy) averaging 31 and 27, respectively.
The Aces all-rounder comes from a rich cricketing background, with both his father (Philip) and Uncle (Matt) representing New Zealand between 1987 and 2003. He broke into the Auckland set-up in 2016 and has forged an impressive career of his own with almost 4,000 runs, including 3 centuries.
Horne initially shot to prominence back in 2012 when representing New Zealand at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Australia. Playing alongside the likes of current Blackcaps’ Will Young, and Ish Sodhi, New Zealand made the semi-finals before losing to eventual champions, India.
Following his return to New Zealand, Horne transitioned from left-arm spin to wicket-keeping, and ultimately, his success at Premier club level (for Parnell CC) and Auckland A, culminated with his Aces debut during the 2016/17 season.
Since then, Horne has enjoyed a glittering career full of awards and accolades. Alongside his 3 hundreds, including his quite remarkable career-best 162 against Otago, he has notched up records for the most dismissals in a first-class innings, and match. With the Aces, he has been a Plunket Shield winner, a 3-time Ford Trophy winner, and boasts the highest 9th wicket partnership record for Auckland (204).
Last summer (2021/22), he also bagged the most dismissals in the Plunket Shield, whilst scoring 300 runs at 33.33 (following up season tallies of 273 runs at 45.50, and 325 runs at 36.11 during the 2019/20, and 2020/21 seasons, respectively).
Horne is a serious talent, and leader of men, who is set to embark on his maiden UK trip in 2023 having recently signed with Wolverhampton for their Birmingham and District Premier League campaign.