Ben Hilfenhaus

Last updated

Ben Hilfenhaus
Ben Hilfenhaus 2009.jpg
Personal information
Full nameBenjamin William Hilfenhaus
Born (1983-03-15) 15 March 1983 (age 36)
Ulverstone, Tasmania, Australia
NicknameHilfy, Gentle Ben
Height186 cm (6 ft 1 in) [1]
BowlingRight-arm fast-medium
Role Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  407)26 February 2009 v  South Africa
Last Test14 December 2012 v  Sri Lanka
ODI debut(cap  161)14 January 2007 v  New Zealand
Last ODI25 March 2012 v  West Indies
ODI shirt no.20
Domestic team information
2005/06–2015/16 Tasmania
2011/12–2014/15 Hobart Hurricanes
2012–2014 Chennai Super Kings
2015 Nottinghamshire
2015/16–2016/17 Melbourne Stars
2016/17 Canterbury
2017 St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Runs scored355291,410119
Batting average 13.659.6612.939.15
Top score56* 1656* 18*
Balls bowled6,0781,12623,0804,169
Wickets 992938789
Bowling average 27.5037.0629.3435.95
5 wickets in innings 21131
10 wickets in match0010
Best bowling5/755/337/585/33
Catches/stumpings 7/010/–30/–20/–
Source: Cricinfo, 12 May 2019

Benjamin William Hilfenhaus /ˈhɪlfənhs/ (born 15 March 1983) is an Australian former professional cricketer who played for Tasmania in Australian domestic cricket and for the Australia national cricket team. He is right-arm fast-medium bowler known for his ability to swing the ball. Hilfenhaus plays club cricket for Tasmania University Cricket Club. He made his first-class cricket debut in the 2005/06 season and his haul of 39 wickets was a record for someone playing their first season for Tasmania. Before he was given a full-time contract for 2006/07, he worked as a bricklayer as well as playing cricket. He has best bowling figures of 7/58 in first-class cricket, achieved in his first season for Tasmania.

Cricket Team sport played with bats and balls

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground. When ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches. They communicate with two off-field scorers who record the match's statistical information.

Tasmania cricket team australian Cricket team

The Tasmanian cricket team, nicknamed the Tigers, represents the Australian state of Tasmania in cricket. They compete annually in the Australian domestic senior men's cricket season, which consists of the first-class Sheffield Shield and the limited overs Matador BBQs One-Day Cup.

Australia national cricket team national sports team

The Australian men's national cricket team represents Australia in international cricket. As one of the oldest teams in Test cricket history, playing in the first ever Test match in 1877, the team also plays One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket, participating in both the first ODI, against England in the 1970–71 season and the first T20I, against New Zealand in the 2004–05 season, winning both games. The team draws its players from teams playing in the Australian domestic competitions – the Sheffield Shield, the Australian domestic limited-overs cricket tournament and the Big Bash League.


In January 2007 Hilfenhaus made his One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) debuts for Australia. The following month he was named the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year. The 2006/07 season saw Hilfenhaus named Tasmania's Player of the Year as the club won the Pura Cup for the first time. Due to injury setbacks he had to wait until 2009 before making his Test debut.

One Day International Form of limited overs cricket, 50-over format

A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket, played between two teams with international status, in which each team faces a fixed number of overs, usually 50. The Cricket World Cup, generally held every four years, is played in this format. One Day International matches are also called Limited Overs Internationals (LOI), although this generic term may also refer to Twenty20 International matches. They are major matches and considered the highest standard of List A, limited overs competition.

Twenty20 International Form of cricket

A Twenty20 International (T20I) is a form of cricket, played between two of the international members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), in which each team faces twenty overs. The matches have top-class status and are the highest T20 standard. The game is played under the rules of Twenty20 cricket. Starting from the format's inception in 2005, T20I status only applied to Full Members and some Associate Member teams. However, in April 2018, the ICC announced that it would grant T20I status to all its 105 members from 1 January 2019.

Test cricket The longest form of cricket

Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration, and is considered the game's highest standard. Test matches are played between national representative teams that have been granted ‘Test status’, as determined and conferred by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The term Test stems from the fact that the long, gruelling matches are mentally and physically testing. Two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, which may last up to five days. It is generally considered the most complete examination of a team's endurance and ability.

In February 2016 Hilfenhaus announced his retirement from first-class cricket, due to ongoing injuries. [2]


Early career: 2002–2008

BEN HILFENHAUS (3071228809).jpg
BEN HILFENHAUS (3072066658).jpg
Ben Hilfenhaus training with Tasmania in 2008

The 19-year-old Hilfenhaus was one of 25 young players given scholarships to go to the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy in May 2002, [3] and later that year he was given a rookie contract with Tasmania for the 2002/03 season. [4] In 2003 Hilfenhaus was again included in the 25-man intake to the CB Cricket Academy. [5] It was not until 17 October 2005 that he made his senior debut aged 22, playing for Tasmania in the Pura Cup, Australia's first-class competition. The match ended in a draw and Hilfenhaus took a single wicket, that of Mitchell Johnson bowled, while conceding 126 runs. [6] For the 2005/06 season Hilfenhaus still had a rookie contract and also worked as a bricklayer. That season he claimed 39 wickets in the Pura Cup at an average of 30.82, breaking the record set by West Indian Michael Holding for most first-class wickets in their first season for Tasmania. Hilfenhaus was rewarded with a full contract with Tasmania for the first time and he was given a place in the Australia "A" squad for the winter Top End series. [7] [8] He had previously represented Australia at under-19 level.

The Australian Cricket Academy was founded in 1987 as a joint initiative of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Australian Cricket Board (ACB). It was initially located at Henley Beach in Adelaide before moving to the Allan Border Field in Brisbane, Queensland in 2004 and renamed the "Commonwealth Bank Centre of Excellence".

First-class cricket is an official classification of the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to be worthy of the status by virtue of the standard of the competing teams. Matches must allow for the teams to play two innings each although, in practice, a team might play only one innings or none at all.

Mitchell Johnson (cricketer) Australian cricketer

Mitchell Guy Johnson is a former Australian cricketer, who played all forms of the game until his retirement from international cricket in 2015. He is a left-arm fast bowler and left-handed batsman. He made his Test debut for Australia in November 2007. He is considered to be one of the best fast bowlers Australia has ever produced.

The 2006/07 was even more successful for Hilfenhaus who won the Ricky Ponting Medal, awarded to Tasmania's Player of the Year. In eleven Pura Cup matches he took 60 wickets, including seven wickets in the final to help his team win the cup for the first time. [9] Hilfenhaus made his International début in a Twenty20 international for Australia against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 9 January 2007. He bowled four overs and took two wickets for 16 runs. This was followed up by selection in the one-day team for the One Day International on 14 January against New Zealand at Bellerive Oval, his state team's home ground. He took his first ODI wicket (Brendon McCullum) in his second over. Hilfenhaus quickly became a local favourite, with the crowd cheering "Hilfy" whenever he was involved in play. In February Hilfenhaus was named the Bradman Young Cricket of the Year. [10]

England cricket team Sports team

The England cricket team represents England and Wales in international cricket. Since 1997, it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club since 1903. England, as a founding nation, is a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status. Until the 1990s, Scottish and Irish players also played for England as those countries were not yet ICC members in their own right.

Sydney Cricket Ground stadium in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is a sports stadium in Sydney, Australia. It is used for Test, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket, as well as Australian rules football, rugby league football, rugby union, and association football. It is the home ground for the New South Wales Blues cricket team, the Sydney Sixers of the Big Bash League and the Sydney Swans Australian Football League club. It is also the temporary home of the Sydney Roosters of the National Rugby League, the NSW Waratahs of Super Rugby, during the redevelopment of the Sydney Football Stadium. It is owned and operated by the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust that also manages the Sydney Football Stadium located next door. Until the 44,000 seat Football Stadium opened in 1988, the Sydney Cricket Ground was the major rugby league venue in Sydney.

Bellerive Oval stadium in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Bellerive Oval is a cricket and Australian rules football ground located in Bellerive, a suburb on the eastern shore of Hobart, Tasmania. It is the only venue in Tasmania which hosts international cricket matches, and has a spectator capacity of 19,500.

Cricket Australia announced its 25 contracted players in May 2007 and Hilfenhaus was included in on the list for the first time. [11] He was included in Australia's squad for the 2007 Twenty20 World Championship, his first tour with the senior national side, as a replacement for Shaun Tait. [12] and the One Day International tour of India. He also received a call up to the Test squad to take on Sri Lanka when South Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait was ruled out with injury. [13] However, he did not get to add to his international appearances on any of the above occasions.

Cricket Australia Governing body of cricket in Australia

Cricket Australia (CA), formerly known as the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in Australia. It was originally formed in 1905 as the 'Australian Board of Control for International Cricket'. It is incorporated as an Australian Public Company, limited by guarantee.

Shaun Tait Australian cricketer

Shaun William Tait is a former Australian cricketer. He is a right arm fast bowler. He represented Australia in all three forms of cricket, but had most success in One Day Internationals, in which he was a member of Australia's undefeated team at the 2007 Cricket World Cup; and T20 cricket, in which he played for two teams in the Indian Premier League and three teams in Australia's Big Bash League. Tait won four different awards throughout his career including the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year in 2004.

Sri Lanka Island country in South Asia

Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo.

Hilfenhaus was chosen in Australia's 15-man Test squad to tour the West Indies in May 2008. A stress fracture of the back prevented him from departing with the touring party and ruled him out of playing; instead fellow fast bowler Doug Bollinger was selected in his place. [14]

Test debut and 2009 Ashes

Hilfenhaus in 2009. Ben Hilfenhaus.jpg
Hilfenhaus in 2009.

After losing the home Test series against South Africa in December 2008, Australia embarked on a tour of South Africa in February 2009 needing to avoid losing the series to retain the top spot in the ICC's Test rankings. [15] [16] Hilfenhaus debuted in the first Test, one of three frontline fast bowlers alongside Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle. Between them they had experience of 22 Tests compared to the 144 South Africa's quicks had played in. [17] Australia won the series 2–1 and Hilfenhaus played in all three matches, taking 7 wickets while conceding 366 runs. [18] [19]

Hilfenhaus was given a chance in the 2009 Ashes after a solid performance in South Africa and an injury to Brett Lee. He grabbed his chance, swinging the new and old ball, along with bowling an accurate length. Though Australia lost the series 2–1, Hilfenhaus was the leading wicket-taker for either side with 22 dismissals from all five Tests at an average of 27.45. [20]

In November 2009, the West Indies toured for three Tests. His performance in the first Test, with match figures of 5/70, earned Hilfenhaus a Man-of-the-Match award as Australia won by an innings. [21] Experiencing knee soreness after the match, Hilfenhaus was unable to play in the second Test despite hopes the injury was not serious. [22] The injury, which turned out to be tendonitis in the knee and prevented him from playing a further part in the series, worsened when Hilfenhaus returned to playing in grade cricket. [23]

Hilfenhaus returned to the Test side when it travelled to England where they would face Pakistan in two Tests in July. His knee was still painful, but Hilfenhaus played regardless. [24] The series was drawn 1–1 and Australia's fast bowlers were often inconsistent. [25] Hilfenhaus was Australia's second highest wicket-taker in the series, with eight at an average of 23.75. [26] In October Australia toured India for two Tests and Hilfenhaus was included in the 15-man squad. [27] At this point, India were the number one ranked Test team in the world and Australia had dropped to fourth. [28] India won both Tests and Hilfenhaus' six wickets for 261 runs made him Australia's second highest wicket-taker in the series. [29] [30]

2011 Ashes onwards

Australia lost the 2010–11 Ashes series 3–1. Across the five Tests, Australia used four front-line fast bowlers: Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, and Hilfenhaus with support from all-rounder Shane Watson. Though he missed a match, Hilfenhaus bowled the most out of all Australia's bowlers in the series, sending down 947 deliveries. However, on average his seven wickets cost 59.28 runs each. [31]

Though Hilfenhaus was bought by Chennai Super Kings for a price of $100,000, [32] he did not play in the 2011 Indian Premier League (IPL) held in April due to injury. [33] He recovered in time to be included in the Australia A squad to tour Zimbabwe in June. The intention was to give him the opportunity to find some form before the full Australia team toured Sri Lanka and South Africa later that year. The squad also contained Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner, and Trent Copeland, and it was hoped that Hilfenhaus' experience would benefit the younger fast bowlers, particularly as Starc and Faulkner had the ability to swing the ball. [34] When the squad to tour Sri Lanka was announced in July, Hilfenhaus was omitted, according to selector Greg Chappell this was because he was not fit enough. [35]

By the time New Zealand toured for two Tests in December, Hilfenhaus was back in contention for a place in the national squad. However, the selectors opted to give younger, less experienced bowlers an opportunity. When India toured later that month Hilfenhaus was included in the 13-man squad for the first Test. National selector John Inverarity explained that "I think [Hilfenhaus] had a few body concerns and his action deteriorated a little bit last year and he seems to have got it back and been playing in very good form. He is a strong, durable, experienced bowler." [36] He was selected for the first Test—the Boxing Day Test—and took 5/75 in India's first innings, his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket. [37] In the following match Hilfenhaus claimed a second five-wicket haul to help Australia take a 2–0 lead in the series. [38] Australia won the third Test by an innings to claim the Border–Gavaskar Trophy. Hilfenhaus took four wickets in each of India's innings and as a result broke into the top 10 of the ICC's ranking for Test bowlers for the first time. [39] He was the leading wicket-taker in the series, with 27 at an average of 17.22. [40]

An injury to Brett Lee and Hilfenhaus' form in the Test series against India meant the latter was included in the ODI squad for a tri-nation tournament in February. At the time, Hilfenhaus had not played an ODI since 2009. [41] In his first match back in the side he took career best ODI figures of 5/33 against India. This effort won him the Man of the match award. Australia won the tournament and Hilfenhaus played in five of Australia's eleven matches, taking a further four wickets to finish with a series average of 23.22. [42] In April 2012, Australia toured the West Indies. Hilfenhaus took ten wickets from three Test, and was Australia's second highest wicket-taker in the series behind off-spinner Nathan Lyon. [43] The 2012 Indian Premier League was held in April and May. Having missed the previous year through injury, it was Hilfenhaus' first tournament for the Chennai Super Kings. He picked up 12 wickets at an average of 17.33 and was one of the team's main bowlers. [44]

Bowling style

Ben Hilfenhaus bowling 2.jpg
Ben Hilfenhaus bowling.jpg
Ben Hilfenhaus bowling 4.jpg
Ben Hilfenhaus bowling in the nets in January 2009

Hilfenhaus is primarily a swing bowler, relying on moving the ball away from right handed batsmen. During an interview in 2010, he explained that he is able to bowl when conditions do not suit him: "When the ball's not swinging for me the role does change a little bit ... I see myself more as a dot bowler than a wicket-taker like Mitch [Johnson] when the ball stops swinging for me. I've just got to build pressure and do the team thing." [45]

The onset of tendonitis in Hilfenhaus' knee in late 2009 led to a change in his bowling action. As a result, he was bowling slower and the ball was swinging earlier, and therefore easier for batsmen to face. This predictability resulted in an expensive 2010 Ashes series for Hilfenhaus. [46] After being dropped from the Test side, Hilfenhaus was encouraged by his captain at Tasmania, George Bailey, to use more variation in angle and length. [47] On his return to the national side in later 2011, his pace had increased to around 140 to 145 km/h (87 to 90 mph). [46] There have been several comparisons made between Hilfenhaus and Glenn McGrath and McGrath himself described him as "very impressive". [48]


He is an avid golfer with an eight handicap [49] and was Mr September in the McGrath Foundation's 2009 Men Of Cricket calendar. [50] Hilfenhaus has been nicknamed Gentle Ben by his Australian teammates in reference to his gentle personality and the popular bear from the 1970s TV series. [51]

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