Thursday 1 March 2007 

Bopara Makes Further Essex Commitment

All-rounder Ravinder Bopara has signed a contract extension with Essex that will keep him at the Club until the end of the 2009 season.

Bopara has committed himself to the County on the back of his recent elevation to the England one-day squad, culminating in his call-up for the upcoming World Cup.

Bopara continued to progress during the 2006 domestic campaign, scoring 806 runs @ 38.38 in the Liverpool Victoria County Championship along with taking 19 wickets @ 47.47. Over the course of the year he achieved Championship career-best figures in both batting – 159 against Glamorgan at Cardiff in April – and bowling – 5-75 against Surrey at Colchester in August.

In addition, the Newham-born cricketer played a major role in Essex’s successful one-day season – during which they won both the NatWest Pro40 and Twenty20 Floodlit Cup – by contributing significantly with bat, ball and in the field.

That form earned him a place on the England Academy over the winter, during which time he spent five and a half weeks in Perth, Australia. The 21-year-old made his ODI debut in the recent CB Series in Australia when he played his part in an emphatic group stage victory over the hosts in Sydney.

After initially being named in the England ‘A’ squad to tour Bangladesh in February and March he was withdrawn from that trip after subsequently being selected for England’s squad for the World Cup in the West Indies, which starts in March.

Bopara told the Essex CCC website (www.essexcricket.org.uk):

“I didn’t quite know what was going to be happening with my career a couple of months ago when I wasn’t involved with England (at ‘full’ level) but since I’ve been involved with them it’s just made me want to stay with Essex forever. Hopefully I’ll be playing for England more and more but I’m ready to stay at Essex for the rest of my career. This is where I love playing and where I always want to play.”

(On the World Cup)

“I know I’ll be out at the World Cup representing England but there will also be a part of me representing Essex and I’m proud of that. I want to do everything I can for this Club, because they’ve done a lot for me, so if I can repay them in any way I will.”

Essex Chief Executive David East told the Essex CCC website (www.essexcricket.org.uk):

“We are all delighted that Ravi has committed himself to Essex until 2009. He represents everything our development structure and Academy system are designed to produce, and we are sure that he will grasp the opportunity he has been given by his inclusion in the World Cup squad.”