21-year-old Derbyshire wicket-keeper Tom Poynton has signed a a three-year contract which keeps him at the club until the end of the 2014 season.
He follows Tom Knight and Ross Whiteley in signing contracts as the club pushes to develop a strong group of young players to take them forward.
Poynton made his debut for the club as a 17-year-old in 2007 before playing for England Under-17s and then England Under-19s in 2008 and 2009.
He has been in prolific form for the second XI this season while also captaining Swarkestone in the Derbyshire Premier League.
“Tom has been learning his trade as a wicketkeeper/batsman since completing the Academy and he made particularly excellent strides in Australia during the winter.
“He is very natural with the gloves and an impressive stroke-maker with the bat. He is currently learning a lot from Luke Sutton and we see him as Luke’s natural successor behind the stumps.”
Chairman Chris Grant said: “The policy of backing our home grown cricketers continues and we are delighted to have secured the future of three Academy graduates on professional contracts in the last few weeks.
"Tom couldn’t wish for two better mentors than Karl Krikken and Luke Sutton when it comes to the wicketkeeping profession.
"Combine that with Tom’s natural ability, excellent attitude - and the faith we have in him to be our number one wicketkeeper in the future – and the result is an excellent opportunity for a long and successful first-class career.”
Derbyshire captain Luke Sutton commented: "I have been impressed with Tom since I arrived back at the club and he certainly has all the attributes needed to become an excellent wicketkeeper.
"This new deal gives him the security and confidence to keep developing and offers him a great opportunity to fulfill his potential.’’
Poynton added: "It’s great to have the long-term backing and support of the Club as I aim to take my career to the next level over the next few years.
"A long term future in the first-class game is the ultimate goal and a three year contract with excellent advice and support around me is the perfect opportunity to work towards achieving those ambitions."
© Cricket World 2011