Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Academy Opener Westbury Signs First Professional Contract With Worcs Ccc

Academy Opener Westbury Signs First Professional Contract With Worcs Ccc

Worcestershire CCC's highly promising Academy opener Ollie Westbury has signed his first full-time professional contract with the County.

Westbury has put pen to paper on a one year deal which will come into effect from October 1, 2016.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a productive 12 months which culminated in him being selected for the England Under-19s – and being chosen as his country's player of the series against Sri Lanka Under-19s.

Westbury scored a superb 196 spanning eight hours in the first 'Test' – the highest ever score by a Worcestershire player at that level.

That followed on from a successful winter in Australia playing grade cricket for Hay Park and continuing in a similar vein for the County Seconds for whom he has hit two hundreds this summer.

The Dudley-born player has a thirst for batting and occupying the crease for long periods which is no longer commonplace in the era of T20 cricket.

Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes confirmed: "Ollie Westbury has signed a one year professional contract and we are delighted about that.

"What is really healthy about Ollie is his run-scoring ability and he has had a terrific winter in Australia and backed that up with an excellent second team season so far.

"This guy enjoys batting, enjoys scoring runs and has got the knack of knowing how to score runs.

"He then went to the England Under-19s, had an exceptional first Test and a pretty good second one.

"To score a century for your country at any level is a great effort and something to be proud of – and we are proud to have him on board and to give him the opportunity to progress further with his career.

"He is a hard worker and looking forward to trying to improve him even more and to getting him into our first team."

Westbury will spend this winter working with the County's coaching staff, including batting coach Kevin Sharp and strengthening and conditioning coach Ross Dewar.

Rhodes said: "Ollie is keen to work with the coaches and Kevin Sharp does a great job with our young batters.

"A bit of time with Ross Dewar will help physically to strengthen him up and they are all extra one or two per cents that make up a professional player as opposed to just a bloke who can bat and score runs.

"But. make no mistake, his run-scoring is the reason he was offered this deal and if he keeps doing that, he is going to go a long way.

"Batting a long time is a nice trait to have. There are a lot of the modern day players, all they see and are interested in are the T20 campaigns.

"To see people like Ollie who enjoy the longer format, and the real game of chess, and have the satisfaction of batting a long period of time, that is really nice to see."

Westbury said: "I'm absolutely delighted to sign. It is something I've been striving to achieve for a very long time and I can't really put into words how pleased I am.

"It is encouraging that the young players at Worcestershire are given an opportunity. You can see from the first team at the moment, that a lot of them are doing very well.

"They bring youngsters through really, really well at Worcester and it is great to be a part of it.

"It has been a very good few weeks for me personally with the England Under-19s call-up as well. But I'm going to keep my head down and keep scoring as many runs as I can."