CRICKET: Josh can’t wait to star after new Pears deal - The Evesham Observer

CRICKET: Josh can’t wait to star after new Pears deal

Evesham Editorial 21st Mar, 2023   0

YOUNG Worcestershire spinner Josh Baker aims to produce the promising performances he has shown since breaking into the first team on a consistent basis to help bring success to New Road after signing new three-year contract.

The 19-year-old is also targeting an England Lions call-up and emulating New Road team-mates Jack Haynes and Josh Tongue.

Baker had one year remaining of his current deal and has put pen to paper on a contract until the end of the 2025 season.

The academy product broke into the first team in July 2021 and played in 15 LV=Insurance County Championship matches during the next 12 months.

The slow left-arm spinner had also experienced playing in the One Day Cup and Vitality Blast before suffering a stress reaction to his lower back but is now fully fit for the new season.

Baker, who has taken 35 first class wickets, achieved his best bowling figures to date of 4-51 against Leicestershire at Grace Road in the opening match of last season.

He hit his career-best score of 61 not out versus Middlesex at Lord’s in September 2021.

Baker was also selected for the England Under-19s tour of Sri Lanka in November and December 2021 and was a travelling reserve for the 2022 ICC Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies.

He said: “It’s great to sign the new contract, and it’s very positive. Having that security to kick on with my career is very encouraging, and it means I can focus on my cricket.

“Hopefully I can continue to progress with my career and help Worcestershire to enjoy success during these next three years.

“I can’t wait to get going now. A lot of cricket is coming up, and I’m looking forward to performing for Worcestershire.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket, which I’ve enjoyed. As a cricketer, I want to stay in the team, and that’s my goal. I’ve put in performances at some stages, at other times maybe not, and that’s what I’m trying to work on, consistency of performances.

“It’s all about piecing them together, and I want to put performances together. With the way cricket is going with Bazball and stuff like that, I feel like it will be a challenging time to bowl spin.

“But it’s also one I’m relishing, and if people come hard at you, there is more opportunity to take wickets.”

Baker added: “Is getting an England Lions call-up an aim? Definitely, and further as well, but Lions at the minute, and I’ve got my eye on it.

“Josh (Tongue) and Jack (Haynes) did very well, which is good to see, and I want to emulate what they’ve done.”

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