Topley signs one-year Essex contract

SUFFOLK schoolboy Reece Topley has signed a one-year contract with Essex County Cricket Club following a string of impressive performances in the LV= County Championship.

Topley, 17, is currently studying at the royal Hospital School and will make a decision on his academic commitments at the end of the 2011 season.

The future is looking bright for Reece since playing through the Academy system at the Graham Gooch Essex Cricket Academy, making his first-class debut against Kent in the opening match of the 2011 campaign.

Topley said: “I am really happy and excited to have signed a contract with the club. This is where I have been playing since the age of nine years old and I’ve grown up watching the players who I now play alongside.

“In the future, I look forward to performing for Essex and developing as a player with the club.”

Essex head coach Paul Grayson added: “Reece is a very exciting prospect and I am delighted for him that he signed his first professional contract with Essex.

“He has already made a big impact in first-class cricket at a young age, taking two five-wicket hauls against Kent and also versus Middlesex at Lord’s. He will now look to continue developing and learning all the time as a player.”

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Meanwhile, Essex announced yesterday that overseas player, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, has prematurely parted company with the club following his five-week stay at the county.

Tsotsobe made his Essex debut in the LV= County Championship match against Northamptonshire at Northampton and has featured in eight fixtures.

Grayson said: “We have given him a great opportunity to come over to England and play county cricket.

“He has to look at himself since being over here and realise that he hasn’t made the most of a great environment to play cricket with a good set of players.

“His work rate and attitude hasn’t been up to the standard I would expect of someone with his experience as an international cricketer.”

Essex chief executive David East commented: “The club has spoken with Lonwabo about the recent comments he made on Twitter which it considered inappropriate.

“Lonwabo has assured us that his comments were not intended to be derogatory towards the club, and that they have been misinterpreted.

“He has stated that the intention in his tweets was to express disappointment with his own personal performance whilst at Essex.”

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