Monday 1 October 2007 

Essex Reveal Academy Intake

Essex County Cricket Club has named a group of nine players to attend the County’s Graham Gooch Essex Cricket Academy in 2007/08.

Fifteen-year-old Harry Beddows is the only new recruit among the collection of players whose ages range from 15 to 17.

Beddows, a wicketkeeper-batsman, has been awarded a one-year Academy Contract along with Michael Comber, Joanne Cook, Dominic Hurst, Alan Ison and Aaron West.

Meanwhile, fifteen-year-old leg-spinning all-rounder Rishabh Shah has been given a two-year Academy Contract.

Seventeen-year-old duo Jaik Mickleburgh and Adam Wheater – both of whom made their first-team debuts in this year’s Twenty20 Floodlit Cup – have been handed two-year Academy Professional Contracts.

Mickleburgh became the 10th player to represent the Essex first-team after being part of the Academy set-up (following Alastair Cook, Varun Chopra, Mervyn Westfield, Jahid Ahmed, Tony Palladino, Zoheb Sharif, Tom Westley, Maurice Chambers and Adam Wheater).

In addition, Cook was the first cricketer to graduate from the ECB-run Academy system to play for England at senior level.

Academy players are contracted from November to September.

The forthcoming period represents the first in which Essex Batting Coach and Club Ambassador Graham Gooch will be providing funds of £30,000 a year to support the re-named Graham Gooch Essex Cricket Academy.

Academy Director John Childs added: “From the 2006/07 Academy, Tom Westley, Mervyn Westfield and Maurice Chambers are all now on full Professional Contracts. Theeban Tavarasa has finished with the Academy but will continue to be involved with the Development and Second Eleven sides in 2008. Finally, after four years on the Academy, Chris Prowting has been not been retained in order that he can seek out further opportunities with other counties.”

An additional set of ‘Emerging Players’ aged between 13 and 16 will start this November and are coached until March (more information to follow).

More details on the Academy are available on the Essex CCC website at www.essexcricket.org.uk

Pictures and updated profiles of the 2007/08 intake will appear soon after Induction Day on October 28.

© Essex CCC