Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Leach Wants To Repay Faith Shown By ‘bumpy’ After Signing New Contract

Leach Wants To Repay Faith Shown By ‘bumpy’ After Signing New Contract

All-rounder Joe Leach has become the fourth key Worcestershire CCC player in less than two weeks to sign a new long term contract and said: "it feels like a club going in the right direction."

And now the 24-year-old wants to repay the faith shown in him by Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes after putting pen to paper on a three year deal.

Stafford-born Leach had one year remaining of his present contract but has now committed his future at New Road until the end of the 2018 campaign.

Academy product Leach follows Ross Whiteley (four years) and Joe Clarke and Ed Barnard (three years) in signing the new contract.

Leach admits the current season is "one that dreams are made of" on a personal level with 50 plus LV = County Championship wickets and nearly 500 runs – but his focus is now on keeping the County in Division One.

He said: "I'm really pleased. It's nice to follow the likes of Clarkey and Ross and Ed and commit my future to the club.

"It feels like a club going in the right direction "Bumpy (Steve Rhodes) is obviously keen to get a group of us together he has identified to take the club forward.

"He has put a lot of faith in us and now it is up to us to repay him.

"We've all stuck together and the fact we've all committed with new contracts says a lot about the club and a lot about the belief of the lads in the club and where it is going."

Former Shrewsbury School pupil Leach added: "This season has gone better than I expected. I'm having the sort of season that dreams are made of. I couldn't have expected to do this but it doesn't really count for much if we don't stay up.

"Personally I'm really pleased to be doing well, and that has obviously helped to secure a new contract, but I'm focused on trying to keep us in Division One for the time being."

Rhodes said: "I'm really delighted that Joe has signed. We've got some nice momentum with people signing and Joe as a player, as all of them are really, is a player we value highly. That's the reason we want to keep him at Worcestershire.

"His form this season has been remarkable and so exciting to know he can play well in all formats and all disciplines.

"He is a very valuable member of the group, has got a good attitude, is a good character and has leadership qualities.

"He is the right type of person that we want him at Worcestershire and that's exactly the reasons why we wanted to extend his contract.

"Joe is a genuine all-rounder, he plays with his heart on his sleeve and he gives his all and we are delighted he will be doing that now for a long period of time with Worcestershire."

Leach was initially a batsman who could bowl when breaking into the side and he scored his maiden Championship hundred against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham in 2013.

But last summer saw greater emphasis put on his bowling skills and he finished with 33 wickets and played a key role in the Division Two promotion campaign.

This summer he became the fourth bowler in Division One to reach 50 wickets and has also made several telling contributions with the bat, following on from his two vital half centuries in the promotion-clinching win over Surrey at New Road last September.