Wednesday, October 26th, 2022


Worcestershire has announced its 2022-2023 Academy intake, and the 10-strong group includes four newcomers.

Pace bowler Harry Darley (Under-18s), left-arm spinner Josh Leach (Under-16s), keeper-batter Seth Essenhigh (Under-15s), and batter Alfie Higgins, (Under-14s) will be part of the Academy for the first time.

They will join forces with Joe Stanley, Cameron Jones, Ollie Walker and Reeve Evitts (all Under-18) and Jack Home and Ben Clarke (both Under-17), who have been retained from the previous year.

Three other members of the 2021-2022 group in Olly Cox, Henry Cullen, and Rehaan Edavalath, have all signed rookie contracts for Worcestershire.

Worcestershire Senior Academy Coach, Elliot Wilson, said: “The group size is based on the characteristics we have noticed and the stage and age of the individuals. 

“There are a lot of other cricketers from 12 to 18 benefitting from the programmes run by Worcestershire.

“As with Cameron Jones in 2021-2022, if the Club feels we should add players as the winter progresses, then we can do so at any stage. 

“The six returning players have played some great cricket in 2022 and are cricketers of high potential moving forward.

 “It will be exciting to meet up with them individually in the next couple of weeks and talk about the 12 months ahead and to see what their aims and ambitions are.”



Elliot Wilson: “Harry is a Shropshire player who has played on and off for Worcestershire for the past two summers. He has been on the Shropshire satellite academy that Paul Pridgeon and Dave Manning have run for the past decade and more.

“He was originally from Oswestry CC but moved to Shrewsbury CC in 2022. At the end of last winter, Harry tore an intercostal muscle, so his season didn’t really get started until mid-summer. 

“Harry finished the season strongly, and there are characteristics in him that we are excited about.”


 Elliot Wilson: “Since George Newton joined the Academy a few years ago, Worcestershire has had a relationship with Cheshire County Cricket Board, and over the past couple of years we’ve noticed Josh when playing against us.

 “He created a lot of enjoyable shapes but is also a very competitive cricketer. He trained with the Academy all winter, played some cricket for the Under-18s this summer and hasn’t looked out of place.

“We’ve had mature cricket conversations with Josh, plus he played in the Bunburys this year, and we feel there is a lot there to like. 

“Josh will get great support over the winter, and we look forward to having him involved.”


Elliot Wilson: “He has impressed me and everyone else with his attitude and maturity. He fits in really well with the group. 

“His performances have been outstanding for the Under-14s, including two large hundreds and two 150s, which is a great effort.

 “He ended up playing the last Under-18 game of the year down at Taunton Vale, kept wicket for three days, and took one of the best one-handed diving catches I have ever seen. 

“Seth really impressed, and he reminded myself and Kevin Sharp of a young Henry Cullen.”


Elliot Wilson: “Alfie got a bit of attention in 2021 when he scored a 200 as a 12-year-old (against Herefordshire), and he continues to impress people with his cricket maturity and his desire to get better. 

“His all-round approach is outstanding, and we feel to come onto the Academy will only benefit Alfie.

“He will have a diluted programme compared to some older boys, but he will get fantastic support over the next 12 months. 

“We did the same with Reeve Evitts as an Under-14 four years ago, and that is working out well.”

Wilson said Worcestershire would continue to monitor and support Olly Davidson, Ben Parker, Josh Dickenson, Ismael Mohammed and Oliver Halion at the end of their spell on the Academy.

He said: “We want to keep all of those cricketers close, support them where we can, provide them cricket where we can, and hopefully their time will come in the next 18 months-two years. 

“We will check on them regularly. Olly Davidson is in Western Australia for the winter, and Josh Dickenson has gone to Cardiff University.

“Oliver Halion is at the University of Worcester, and Ismael Mohammed is off to spend a bit of time with the Azhar Ali Academy in Pakistan for a six-week block before Christmas and a six-week block after Christmas.

“These players are getting some great opportunities over the next 12 months, albeit not formally on the Academy and not formally on rookie contracts.”


Joe Stanley U18 – Wolverhampton CC

Cameron Jones U18 – Barnt Green CC

Ollie Walker U18 – Himley CC

Harry Darley U18 – Shrewsbury CC|Reeve Evitts U18 – Kenilworth Wardens CC

Jack Home U17 – Shifnal CC

Ben Clarke U17 – Barnards Green CC

Josh Leach U16 – Chester Boughton Hall CC

Seth Essenhigh U15 – Worcester CC

Alfie Higgins U14 – Barnt Green CC