A FORMER Warrnambool and District Cricket Association import is pushing for England selection through a vein of rich form at county level.
Ben Compton, a South African-born batsman who is eligible for the Three Lions through ancestry, suited up for Merrivale in the 2017-18 campaign.
While Compton, then 23, only managed eight games in yellow and black before returning to the United Kingdom he showed glimpses of brilliance as a technically-sound player.
Now, calls are mounting for the Kent talent to bolster England's ailing top order after 767 runs from his past 11 innings in first-class cricket.
His stellar patch of form included twin centuries - an unbeaten 104-run haul and a 115-run stand - in Kent's 10-wicket loss to Lancashire over the Easter weekend.
Former Merrivale co-coach Jeremy Burgess, who opened the batting alongside Compton, said the London-based talent was a strong player in his short stint in the south-west.
He said the club would've loved to have kept Compton for the season but amicably parted ways post-Christmas.
Burgess said it was exciting to see the now 28-year-old making waves at the professional level.
"He had the firepower as well to make some good scores," Burgess said.
"He was technically very good as well. We'd have loved to have him all year that season but it didn't pan out that way.
"He's always had the ability and he's really gone on with it now. I've followed him a little bit and it's cool to be able to say I've batted with him a bit in the past."
He had the firepower as well to make some good scores.- Jeremy Burgess
Burgess said Compton was pushing a strong case for national selection.
Compton, the grandson of former professional cricketer and Arsenal footballer Denis, first signed for county side Nottinghamshire for the 2019 campaign. He remained at Trent Bridge for two seasons, before he was released in 2021.
The cut paved the way for the Durban-born athlete to sign a two-year deal with Canterbury-based Kent.
During the 2021 English off-season, he played for Zimbabwean side Mountaineers. Compton scored his first List A cricket century in a 2021-22 Pro50 Championship match against Mid West Rhinos, before raising the bat again in the Logan Cup - Zimbabwe's first-class cricket competition - in February of this year.
That form has resulted in him batting for a total of 20 hours and 35 minutes since the County championship started for Kent.
Compton is playing alongside New South Welshman Jackson Bird in the Kent setup.
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