If anybody didn’t know his name and watched him from afar, it would look it was Kevin Pietersen batting in his prime. Such is the uncanny resemblance between the two batsmen that Tom Banton is being referred by the cricket pundits as the next Kevin Pietersen of English Cricket.
Banton made his Twenty20 cricket debut for Somerset in the 2017 NatWest t20 Blast on 16 July 2017. He made his first-class debut for Somerset in the 2018 County Championship on 18 September 2018. A product of the Warwickshire system and thereafter, the England U19, Banton’s skill set was explicitly obvious to all those who saw him play and he landed a contract at Somerset for the T20 blast in the 2017-18 season.
After making technical adjustments under the mentorship of Marcus Trescothick, he scored 454 runs in Somerset's victorious One-Day Cup campaign, including scores of 112, 59 and 69 in the three knockouts games, before thrashing 549 more in the Vitality Blast. His televised 52-ball 100 against Kent was the innings of the tournament, and an England call came at the end of the season.
A hard-hitter of the cricket ball and known to bludgeon bowling attacks, Tom Banton will be looking to fill the void of Chris Lynn who was let go of by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2020 IPL Auction. Banton was bought by the franchise for INR 1 Crore in the auction, late last December. Playing for Brisbane Heat in Australia’s Big Bash League last season, Banton had a strike rate of 176.98 and the KKR franchise will be hoping that he emulates the same feat in the 2020 season.
Superb batting displays at top of the Somerset order catapulted Banton into England's T20 squad and drew attention from franchises from around the world. Tom made his T20I debut against New Zealand on 5 November 2019 where he scored 18 runs batting at the top.
After the resumption of cricket in England following the months-long lockdown, Banton was the part of the series against Ireland, Pakistan and Australia.
Tom Banton made his ODI debut on 4 August 2020 against Ireland and is a green-horn in the arena, having played only six matches and notching up a single half-century.
Tom Banton was born on November 11, 1998, in Chiltern, Buckinghamshire. He was a member of the Warwickshire academy before moving to King’s College. Later, he joined King’s College where his housemaster, Phil Lewis, former English cricketer, recognized his talent and taught him under his own guidance. Lewis was also the coach of English wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler. He did his initial schooling from Bromsgrove School. Subsequently, he completed his schooling from King’s College, a boarding school in Somerset, England.