Tuesday, March 21st, 2023


Worcestershire spinner Josh Baker has signed a new three-year contract and aims to produce the promising performances he has shown since breaking into the first team consistently to help bring success to New Road. 

The 19-year-old is also targeting an England Lions call-up and emulating New Road team-mates Jack Haynes and Josh Tongue.

Baker had one year remaining of his current deal and has put pen to paper on a contract until the end of the 2025 season.

The Academy product broke into the first team in July 2021 and played in 15 LV=Insurance County Championship matches during the next 12 months.

The slow left arm spinner had also experienced playing in the One Day Cup and Vitality Blast before suffering a stress reaction to his lower back but is now fully fit for the new season.

Baker, who has taken 35 first class wickets, achieved his best bowling figures to date of 4-51 against Leicestershire at Grace Road in the opening match of last season. 

He hit his career-best score of 61 not out versus Middlesex at Lord’s in September 2021.

Baker was also selected for the England Under-19s tour of Sri Lanka in November and December 2021 and was a travelling reserve for the 2022 ICC Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies.

He said: “It’s great to sign the new contract, and it’s very positive. Having that security to kick on with my career is very encouraging, and it means I can focus on my cricket.

“Hopefully continue to progress with my career and help Worcestershire to enjoy success during these next three years.

“Can’t wait to get going now. A lot of cricket is coming up, and I’m looking forward to performing for Worcestershire.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket, which I’ve enjoyed. As a cricketer, I want to stay in the team, and that’s my goal.

“I’ve put in performances at some stages, at other times maybe not, and that’s what I’m trying to work on, consistency of performances.

“It’s all about piecing them together, and I want to put performances together. With the way cricket is going with Bazball and stuff like that, I feel like it will be a challenging time to bowl spin.

“But it’s also one I’m relishing, and if people come hard at you, there is more opportunity to take wickets.”

Baker added: “Is getting an England Lions call-up an aim? Definitely, and further as well, but Lions at the minute, and I’ve got my eye on it.

“Josh (Tongue) and Jack (Haynes) did very well, which is good to see, and I want to emulate what they’ve done.”

Worcestershire Cricket Steering Group Chair Paul Pridgeon said, “Josh has done very well. It’s not been a bed of roses for him, he’s had to work very hard, and he’s had the odd baptism of fire.

“But he’s come through it all very well, and he has proved he has got the makings of being a real high-quality left-arm spinner, and he can bat a bit as well and is learning all the while.

“He had the challenge of facing Ben Stokes when on fire at New Road last summer, but he came through it and bounced back from it, and he has got a real strength of character there.

“He came in the side and stayed in, which doesn’t always happen with a youngster. He’s in a fairly unique position of being one of the few spinners on the staff, but he has taken the chances he has been given.”