A graceful batsman who was capable of massive hitting, and a useful medium pacer with a knack of taking wickets, Ben joined his older brother Adam at Surrey in 1995. Considered the more naturally gifted of the two brothers, Hollioake impressed many with his hard hitting batting, canny medium pace, and athletic fielding, and in 1997, aged only 19, he was called up to England's ODI squad to play Australia. Selected for the third and final game of the series at Lord's Ben performed stunningly in his ODI debut, striking 63 runs off 48 balls against Australia and becoming Man of the Match, and England won the 3-match series 3-0. Such a stunning performance led to the media comparing him to the great English all-rounder Ian Botham, with many journalists calling him "The most exciting young English cricketer in a decade" due to his exciting brand of cricket, good looks, and natural charisma.
England were not performing so well in the 1997 Ashes series when Ben and Adam made their Test debuts together, on 7 August 1997. England were losing the 6-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. Still only 19, Ben was England's youngest Test player since Brian Close in 1949. However, a loss in that match, and England's questionable selection policies at the time, meant Ben lost his place in the team soon after, and he toured that winter with the England A team. Ben played one more Test match, against Sri Lanka in 1998, and drifted in and out of the one day team, but never quite established himself as first choice all rounder, although towards the end of his career he was showing signs of becoming a more consistent player.
Ben's brother Adam and the Hollioake family wanted to create an everlasting memory in Ben’s name, so Adam established the CHASE Ben Hollioake fund in 2002. Adam was already involved with CHASE hospice care for children and as a result, the fund was set up and in association with CHASE aims to raise as much funding as possible for CHASE to continue providing their caring service to families with life-limited children and young people.
Cricket: Natural Yearns to Be a Natural Choice First Night: Ben Hollioake; the Gifted Cricketer They Call Little Ben Is Facing His Biggest Challenge
Aug 30, 1998; It was said of Ben Hollioake when his play was illuminating Sri Lanka last February: "What is he doing here? Why isn't he in the...