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Ben Hollioake

Ben Hollioake
Personal information
Full name
Benjamin Caine Hollioake
Born(1977-11-11)11 November 1977
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died23 March 2002(2002-03-23) (aged 24)
Perth, Western Australia
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
BowlingRight arm fast-medium
RelationsAdam Hollioake (brother)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 588)7 August 1997 v Australia
Last Test31 August 1998 v Sri Lanka
ODI debut (cap 146)25 May 1997 v Australia
Last ODI28 January 2002 v India
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 2 20 75 136
Runs scored 44 309 2794 2481
Batting average 11.00 20.60 25.87 24.08
100s/50s 0/0 0/2 3/14 0/14
Top score 28 63 163 98
Balls bowled 252 642 7293 4833
Wickets 4 8 126 142
Bowling average 49.75 66.50 33.45 28.22
5 wickets in innings 0 0 1 1
10 wickets in match 0 0 0 0
Best bowling 2/105 2/37 5/51 5/10
Catches/stumpings 2/– 6/– 68/– 44/–
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 23 March 2002

Benjamin Caine Hollioake (11 November 1977 – 23 March 2002) was an English cricketer who played for Surrey County Cricket Club and the England cricket team. Born in Australia, Hollioake moved to England where he made his first-class cricketing debut for Surrey in 1996. A right-handed batsman and right-arm seam bowler, Hollioake's performances as an all-rounder saw him join his brother Adam in the 1997 England ODI team. Later that year, Adam and Ben Hollioake made their England Test debut in the same game, becoming only the third set of brothers to do so. Ben Hollioake made two Test appearances and earned 20 ODI caps before he was killed in a car crash in Australia at the age of 24.


Early life

The son of an Australian engineer and his Indonesian wife, Ben Hollioake was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in 1977.[1] Hollioake got his cricketing start in Hong Kong, where the family lived for two years until he was five, before they moved on to England.[2] He played junior cricket in Sydney, especially in the Gladesville District Cricket Association, representing Gladesville District when he was just 9 years old, and was well renowned for his lightning fast bowling and talent with the bat – even at that young age.[citation needed] Hollioake moved to England in 1984 along with his older brother, Adam, for 2 years and then a further 3 years in Hong Kong before returning to Australia.[3] He was educated at Millfield Preparatory School and later at Wesley College, Perth.[1]

Cricketing career

A graceful batsman who was capable of massive hitting, and a useful medium pacer with a knack of taking wickets, Ben joined his brother at Surrey in 1994.[1] Hollioake made his first-class debut for Surrey in 1996, taking four 4–74 against Yorkshire at Acklam Park, Middlesbrough,[3] and was awarded the NBC Denis Compton Award that same year. In May 1997, aged 19, he was called up to England's ODI squad to play Australia. Making his debut batting at number three for the final game of the series at Lord's, Hollioake struck 63 runs off 48 balls[4] and was named Man of the Match. England won the three-match series 3–0. His performance led to the media comparing him to the great English all-rounder Ian Botham.[5][6][7]

The following July, Hollioake produced another Man of the Match performance at Lords, this time taking two wickets and scoring 98 runs from 112 deliveries as Surrey defeated Kent in the final of the Benson & Hedges Cup.[1]

England were not performing well in the 1997 Ashes series when Ben and Adam made their Test debuts together, on 7 August 1997. England was losing the six-Test series 2–1 when the Hollioake brothers were selected for the fifth Test, becoming the fifth set of brothers to play for England in the same Test and the third to make a debut together after the Grace and Hearne brothers. Aged 19 years and 269 days, Hollioake was England's youngest Test player since Brian Close in 1949.[3][8] Losing his place in the team soon after, he toured Sri Lanka that winter with the England A team, scoring two centuries.[1] Ben played one more Test match, against Sri Lanka in 1998,[9] scoring 14 and 0 with the bat, and bowling two for 105.[1]

The following year, Surrey awarded Hollioake his county cap, but his form began to waver and, by August 2000, he could not command a regular place in the county side that had won back-to-back county championships. After working hard on his technique during the winter break, Hollioake delivered several impressive performances for Surrey that led to his recall to the English ODI side in 2001.[1]

In July 2001 he was once more man of the match in the final of the Benson and Hedges Cup at Lord's, where he scored 73 runs and helped Surrey to victory over Gloucestershire.[10]

Steve James wrote in the Daily Telegraph:[10]

At times he was so laid back as to be infuriating... but there was a remarkable warmth and gentleness in his character. Among the youngsters he was simply one thing: cool.


Hollioake died on 23 March 2002 in Perth, Western Australia, near his childhood school, Wesley College, when he crashed his Porsche 944 into a wall on the Mill Point Road exit of the Kwinana Freeway on his way home from a family celebration.[9] His death at the age of 24 years and 132 days was the youngest of any England Test cricketer.[11][12]


Following his death, Ben's brother, Adam Hollioake and his family established the Ben Hollioake Fund to raise funds for CHASE Hospice Care for Children.[13] A range of fundraising activities have taken place, including breaking the world record for the number of participants in a continuous 100-metre relay in 2004.[14]

At the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes, the player of the tournament award is named in his honour, the 'Ben Hollioake Award'.[2][15]

At his old club, Surrey, an apprenticeship for an up-and-coming younger player was set up in 2003, also called the 'Ben Hollioake Award'.[16]


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Ben Hollioake: Obituary". 25 March 2002. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b Sixes pay tribute to Ben Hollioake, SCMP, 22 October 2002
  3. ^ a b c Gough, Martin (22 March 2002). "Tragedy of burgeoning star". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  4. ^ Ronay, Barney (20 March 2012). "Ben Hollioake: a glorious talent that never got the chance to wither". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  5. ^ Brace, Matthew (24 March 2002). "He said his farewells. Then a patch of oil cost cricket star Ben his life". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Ben Hollioake obituary". 25 March 2002. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  7. ^ Hobbs, David (25 March 2002). "Obituary: Ben Hollioake". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  8. ^ Randall, Charles (22 March 2002). "Hollioake death is 'devastating news'". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Hollioake killed in car crash". 23 March 2002. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  10. ^ a b James, Steve (20 September 2011). "Surrey finally begin to emerge from shadows cast by Ben Hollioke's tragic death". Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Obituary: Ben Hollioake". Wisden. ESPNcricinfo. 2003. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  12. ^ Harman, Jo (31 January 2023). "John Hollioake on the joys and sorrows of raising two cricketers". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 January 2023.
  13. ^ Brett.O (2005) Life after cricket, BBC sport website, 21 June 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  14. ^ World relay record for Hollioake, BBC sport website, 22 October 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  15. ^ Pakistan knock-out England to win KARP Group Hong Kong Sixes 2011, ESPNcricinfo, 30 October 2011
  16. ^ Surrey set the title standard, The Guardian, 15 April 2003
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Ben Hollioake
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