Worcestershire CCC batsman Josh Dell has signed a new one-year contract extension until the end of the 2022 season and is determined to knock on the door to be given another crack at LV=Insurance County Championship cricket.
Dell, who is 24 later this month, made his Championship debut during the 2019 season when he scored 61 versus Durham at New Road and made all seven of his first class appearances to date that summer.
He was in contention to feature in the final block of four Championship games this season, but a broken thumb has so far denied him that opportunity.
But Dell, who appeared five times in the 2021 Royal London Cup despite the handicap of the thumb setback, believe he is a better player now and ready for the next opportunity to arise in four-day cricket.
He said: “Very happy to sign a new contract to stay at Worcestershire. I’m glad I’ve put some performances together to warrant an extension, which is great, and I look forward to cracking on.
“If you don’t get picked early season, all you can do is go away and score runs, and I feel I did that this year.
“Is the aim to keep knocking on the door in red ball cricket? Exactly, that’s all you can do; keep knocking on the door, go away and score runs whenever you can.
“The frustrating thing is the timing of the injury, but there is nothing you can do about it, just take it on the chin and, if I get to play during the rest of the season, try and make the most of it.”
Dell views his block of Championship cricket during the 2019 season as an important learning curve.
He said: “At that time I hadn’t opened a lot before so it was a new experience and it’s done me a lot of good.
“It highlighted a lot of things I needed to work on. I’ve gone away and addressed things, and I’m a much better player now.
“Looking back on it, there were a lot of positives to take away, of knowing how to improve and just a better understanding of first class cricket.
“Things like facing the new ball was a great challenge, and something I welcomed, and I’ve done a lot more of it since, and I would say I’m more of an opener now.
“It is one of the hardest jobs, and you have to not get too up or too down with how performances go.”
Dell batted down the order in the Royal London Cup and made several useful contributions until the thumb forced him to miss the finale.
He said: “It happened in the warm-up Herefordshire game. I managed to play five or six games in the Royal London Cup, but it got worse.
“It is definitely a role I hadn’t done much, so again it was just trying to learn and do the best I could, and on a couple of occasions, I did okay.”
Academy product Dell was selected for the Bunburys and Super Fours and in 2016 made two Test and one ODI for England Under-19s against Sri Lanka.
The Tenbury-born batsman has enjoyed a successful 2021 in the Second Eleven Championship, scoring 444 runs in five matches at an average of 55.50.
He signed his first professional contract for Worcestershire in June 2018 and followed that with a new two year deal in August 2019.
Worcestershire Cricket Steering Group Chairman, Paul Pridgeon, confirmed: “Josh has signed a one-year contract extension.
“He has been a bit unlucky because if he hadn’t broken his thumb, he would have been in contention to play in this block of County Championship games.”