Ali Orr signs contract extension with Sussex
Sussex Cricket is delighted to announce that batter Ali Orr has signed a multi-year contract extension with the club.
The 20-year-old pathway product enjoyed a superlative debut season after signing his first professional contract in April.
In seven Championship matches, Ali scored over 500 runs at an average of nearly 40, including four fifties and a maiden first-class century against Kent in just his third appearance.
He formed a formidable partnership at the top of the order with Tom Haines. The pair’s opening stands averaged over 60 and they added over 100 runs together on three occasions.
Ali also showed significant promise in white-ball cricket, averaging almost 30 in the Royal London Cup and scoring a century in the match against Worcestershire.
Part of the Sussex Cricket pathway since the age of nine, Ali is a former pupil of Bede’s School and plays his club cricket at Eastbourne CC.
Reacting to his contract extension, Ali said: “I am thrilled to sign a new contract with Sussex. It really means so much that the club have faith in me to try and help move forward and play my part in getting Sussex back to winning ways.
“Obviously, we haven’t had the season we would’ve wanted and results didn’t quite go our way at times but for me I feel like I’ve learned a lot about first-class cricket and found things in my game that work and some things that of course need working on.
“Next season, as well as focussing on making further progress at the top of the order in the Championship and Royal London Cup, I also want to better my skills in the short format and make my debut in the Vitality Blast. Longer term, I hope to make it on a Lions tour and have ambitions of playing for England.
“I would like to express my thanks to Ian Salisbury and James Kirtley this year for their support with my game, all the support staff for helping me develop both physically and mentally and all my teammates for making me feel so welcome and allowing me to learn so much from them.
“I am also so grateful to everyone I worked with in the pathway programme. It was that that gave me the hunger to become a professional cricketer. Phil Hudson and Richard Halsall in particular believed in me the whole way through and gave me the confidence to succeed.”
Sussex’s Championship and One-Day Head Coach Ian Salisbury said: “Since the moment he came into our side, Ali has shown everyone what a talented cricketer he is. He has risen to every challenge we set him and is a perfect example of the cricketers we’re trying to produce at the club.
“If you look at the numbers he produced this summer – the runs he scored, but also the sheer number of balls he faced – then it’s clear he’s an opening batter for the future, not just for Sussex but at a higher level too. He’s right up there among the young batsmen making their mark at the moment.
“Ali loves the club, is hugely motivated to bring success back to Sussex, is always looking to get better and help his teammates do the same. He is an absolute joy to coach and it’s fantastic that he’s signed this new deal.”
James Kirtley, Sussex’s T20 Head Coach, concluded: “Ali has shown some great values and skill in his short time at Sussex. His desire to bat for long periods of time has indeed reinforced the idea that batting time is a skill. To be successful he has shown some great strengths both mentally and physically.
“He has also shown great diversity in his batting and this was highlighted by his hundred in the one-day competition. I am sure he will see his development in the white ball game as an area of growth.
“These values and skills will stand him in good stead for what I hope is a long and successful career at Sussex.”