BEN Charlesworth is determined to come back stronger after seeing his rapid rise stalled by the coronavirus lockdown.

The former Oxfordshire opener was raring for his first taste of top-tier cricket this summer, after enjoying a successful 12 months for club and country.

But just before he was due to start the County Championship campaign with Gloucestershire, the pandemic put the game on hold.

With no professional domestic cricket in England until at least August 1, it is still unclear how much of an impact the

19-year-old will be able to make this summer.

But the enforced break has enabled Charlesworth to recharge his batteries and he is focusing on the positives.

He said: “I had quite a productive winter, so it was quite frustrating when everything stopped.

“I was excited to come back and play for Gloucestershire.

“I thought that if I could perform at the highest level as a 19-year-old that’s a good platform to launch my career from.

“I’ve got to look at the silver linings, so maybe having a few more months of preparation might help me next season.”

He added: “I feel like I’ve never been in better shape all my life.

“I won’t be as good a cricketer, but you don’t normally get a lot of time to do fitness work.”

After helping Gloucestershire win promotion from Division Two of the County Championship last summer, Charlesworth starred for his country at the Under 19 Cricket World Cup in January.

A classy 82 against Australia was the highlight, although England’s exit at the group stage meant the youngster did not get another chance to make his mark.

Rather than being able to carry that form into the domestic season, Charlesworth – along with the rest of the Gloucestershire squad – was placed on furlough shortly after lockdown was imposed.

Since then, he has been living with his parents in Abingdon and has been helping his Dad, Oxford University coach Graham, in the nets at Abingdon Vale since restrictions were eased.

This has been a huge boost for the teenager, who will be back in training with his county next month.

Charlesworth is ready to hit the ground running after finding life difficult in lockdown.

He said: “I think all cricketers have been struggling.

“At the start I was feeling a little bit lost, but I’ve found things to do.

“Our purpose in life is to play cricket and if that gets taken away you don’t have much else to do.”