Wednesday, December 20th, 2023


Josh Baker admits scoring the runs that sealed promotion to Division One of the County Championship for Worcestershire is a memory he will look back on with great fondness at the end of his career.

The Worcestershire spinner had the honour of securing the second batting bonus point which ensured a top two spot in Division Two against Yorkshire at Headingley in the final game of the season.

Baker came to the wicket after the dismissal on 299-6 of Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, whose brilliant century when defying a shoulder problem deserved to see Worcestershire over the finishing line.

His moment of glory came from the third ball he faced when steering Matt Milnes square of the wicket for two.

Baker was embraced by the not out batter, on loan Ben Allison, and the Yorkshire fielders sportingly joined in with applause.

It was the briefest of knocks from Baker in contrast to his superb career best 75 against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham in partnership with D’Oliveira which helped to set up a last day win.

He lobbed a catch to mid on off the next delivery from Milnes, but the significance of the moment, in ensuring a return to the top flight, will last long in the memory.

Baker, looking back on a memorable day for Worcestershire, said: “Hitting the two to get us promoted was a special moment, although getting out next ball wasn’t great!

“It’s definitely something I’ll look back on at the end of my career with fond memories.

“It probably should have been Dolly with the fairytale, hitting the winning runs, because his innings was superb.

“He deserved it but I had to go and do it, which was fine by me, and luckily I managed to do it, and I’ll always look back on that with fondness.”

Baker, who is currently playing grade cricket for Northern District CC in Australia, added: “We had a goal to get into Division One and, playing professional sport, you want to play at the highest standard you possibly can.

“I think the lads are looking forward to it and the challenges it will provide.

“I’m already really looking forward to it, especially playing at a few more grounds where it might help spin, which would be nice.

“Playing at Test match grounds as well, like The Oval, will also be a new experience to embrace.”