Nottinghamshire have announced that veteran fast-bowler Ben Phillips has signed a one-year extension to his current contract. The 38 year-old joined Nottinghamshire at the start of 2011 as a replacement for the departing Ryan Sidebottom and enjoyed a solid 2012 season, taking 32 wickets and scoring 286 runs for the club over the course of 14 first-class matches.
Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell said of Phillips: “Ben keeps himself in great condition and he was one of our standout bowlers in four-day cricket last season. He has an important role to play for us in the Championship and, like Andre Adams, it works nicely for us to preserve him for that format.”
Phillips added, “Last season was enjoyable for me but we feel that we should be competing at the top end in the Championship. I’m still enjoying my cricket and I feel that I still have a lot to offer but it is also rewarding to see young bowlers like Harry Gurney, Luke Fletcher and Andy Carter coming through.”
The ECB have announced the dates of Friends Life t20 Finals Day and the Clydesdale Bank 40 final for next season. The former is set for Saturday 17th August, with the following day as a reserve day, while the CB40 final will be played six days later than in 2012 on Saturday 21st September, again with a reserve day on the Sunday. The full fixture list for the 2013 county season is expected to be released next month.
The ECB also confirmed that an England XI will take on an Essex XI in a warm-up match before the summer's Ashes series and after the ICC Champions Trophy. The four-day match will take place at Chelmsford and will begin on 30th June.
Hampshire have awarded 23 year-old second XI batsman Michael Roberts a one-year professional contract for the 2013 season. Roberts scored 610 runs in seven Second XI Championship games in 2012 and said, “I can't wait to get started. Being given a senior contract at a first-class county is something I've been working towards for the past few years."
The club have also signed Academy graduate Jack Sheppard on a one-year development contract. The seam-bowler joins wicket-keeper Adam Rouse and batsman Sean Terry on that type of deal and was the club's joint leading wicket-taker in the Second Xi Championship last season.
Sheppard said, “I am very happy to be included in the squad for the next season. I’m looking forward to working hard and hopefully pushing for a place in the first team in the future.”
Manager Giles White said of the pair: “We are delighted that both Michael and Jack will be a part of the set-up from 2013. Both have worked extremely hard in the second XI this season and shown the attributes required to potentially be first-class cricketers.
“Jack has been with Hampshire since Under-13 level so he knows the set-up very well. Michael, meanwhile, absolutely deserves his full contract having earned it the hard way through playing Minor Counties cricket for Berkshire and earning an opportunity to play List A cricket for the Unicorns in the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition."
Derbyshire have secured the future of first-team wicket-keeper Tom Poynton for a further three seasons. The 22 year-old, who forms a trio of former Repton School students in the current first team squad alongside Ross Whiteley and Paul Borrington, said, “Derbyshire is the county I’ve represented since I was 11 throughout the age groups and committing to another three years on the staff is exactly what I wanted. What we achieved last season is something we’re all proud of and - with the average age of the squad so young - we have serious ambitions to build on that success over the next few years."
Head Coach Karl Krikken said of Poynton: “To be thrown straight into first-team wicket-keeping duties with limited first-class experience was a tough ask, but Tom has developed fantastically this summer. He’s a home grown cricketer that we’ve backed to succeed and he’s coming good for us by developing into an established first-class player.”
Poynton will face increased competition next season following the signing of Richard Johnson from Warwickshire, but showed glimpses of his potential towards the end of last season, featuring in a ninth-wicket partnership of 261 with his captain Wayne Madsen, which fell just 23 runs short of breaking the century old world record.
Surrey have signed opener Arun Harinath and wicket-keeper Gary Wilson on new contracts. Harinath has penned a two-year deal and will add to Surrey's options at the top of the order following the completion of his maiden first-class century at the end of last season, while Ireland wicket-keeper Wilson has signed for one year and will again mix his county commitments with his international commitments.
Speaking this week, Arun Harinath said: “Surrey is where I have played all my cricket and I am delighted to have signed a new deal. Last season finished really well for me and scoring my maiden first-class hundred was a special moment. I am now looking forward to working hard over the winter and preparing for the challenges ahead of us in 2013”.
Gary Wilson commented: “I am really pleased to have signed a new contract and I am looking forward to the 2013 campaign where hopefully I can pick up where I left off last season.”
© Cricket World 2012
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