Essex duo sign new contracts
PROMISING Essex duo Reece Topley and Ben Foakes have signed new contracts with the club.
Topley has committed his future to the club by signing a new two-year contract. The 17-year-old has become an Essex revelation during the 2011 season with two five-wicket hauls at the beginning of the season against Middlesex and Kent in the LV= County Championship.
He said: “I am delighted to have signed a new two-year contract with Essex, who now possess a really exciting group of fine young cricketers. I really hope to be able to assist Essex in winning trophies and getting back to First Division cricket, which is very important to the club and myself.”
Topley has placed his full commitment away from academic studies to play for Essex and internationally with England U19s squad.
On leaving School after his AS Levels, he added: “I and my family are very comfortable with this decision. The Royal Hospital School, the England Development Programme and Essex CCC have been fantastically supportive in trying to achieve my dual aspirations of both success on the cricket field, and in the classroom, but I had to make some serious decisions on my immediate future.
“I am aware that I am in an incredibly exciting and lucky place in my cricketing development and the possibility of many wonderful opportunities arising. Potentially, I may have an extremely busy schedule this winter with England U19’s preparing for next year’s important ICC U19 World Cup, with numerous trips to the Sub Continent and Australasia it would be too challenging to undertake A levels by email or alone in a hotel room.”
Foakes has signed a professional contract with the club which will see the promising youngster stay at The Ford County Ground until 2013. Foakes, 18, made his first-class debut for Essex against Sri Lanka where he kept wicket taking three catches.
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Foakes said: “I am obviously over the moon to be signing my first contract with the club I grew up with. It is something I have been working very hard for with John Childs in the Academy through the past year and I am delighted that the hard work has come to something.
“I will now look to push on over the winter months with U19 tours to South Africa, Bangladesh and Australia which I feel will help develop me as a player and allow me to fight to get in the first team set up next season.”
Head coach Paul Grayson said: “I am delighted another exciting player has committed to the club for two years. We see Ben very much as part of the first team in the future and I am looking forward to helping him develop his career as a cricketer.
“He has been involved at England Under 19 level and shown his capabilities as an all-round cricketer who will be pushing for a first-team place at the club in the years to come.”