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4th Dec, 2021

Leach relishing next phase after penning new deal

Evesham Editorial 20th Oct, 2021 Updated: 20th Oct, 2021

PEARS all-rounder Joe Leach has signed a new three-year contract until the end of the 2024 season and is relishing the next phase of his career.

Leach had one year remaining of his current deal but has extended his stay at New Road by at least another two years.

He opted to relinquish his role as skipper after five years at the end of the 2021 season but feels he has still much to offer as a player and as a senior member of the squad.

Leach finished last summer in superb form, making excellent contributions with the ball and bat – his 10th season since making his first-team debut in the County Championship derby against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 2012.

He has taken 368 first class wickets at an average of 26.51 and been Worcestershire’s leading wicket-taker on six occasions, in addition to scoring 3,296 first class runs.

Leach is also in the top six of Worcestershire’s wicket-takers in T20 cricket with 52 victims.

He said: “I’m excited to commit myself to the club for another three years. I feel like I’ve got a lot to give.

“I’m delighted to commit my future to the club, and hopefully, we can make it a successful period.

“I don’t see this as being a winding down phase of my career at all. I’ve just come off playing what is probably the best cricket of my career in September, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.

“It will be a slightly different role, but one I’m looking forward to in being a senior member in the group.

“It will be slightly different to being captain but one where I can offer my skills as a leader to the group and enjoy the next three years as a minimum period.”

Head coach Alex Gidman, said: “Joe has been such a consistent performer in first class cricket for several years.

“He is a great team man and someone who is still very valuable to the group, so delighted he has delighted for a longer period.

“Every team craves experience at the moment. There are a lot of young cricketers around, and we have a particularly young bowling group.

“To have that experience and level-headedness that Joe has, alongside his skill and determination as a performer, is really, really important.

“Although Joe is no longer the captain, he will still be a fantastic leader within the group. He will be very prevalent with everything we do, on and off the pitch, and that is really important because he’s had some outstanding experiences as captain.

“It is crucial we have that core group of experienced players.”

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