Nat Bowley earns professional contract
Leicestershire County Cricket Club are delighted to announce that Nat Bowley has signed his first professional contract with the club.
Bowley has been a part of the Academy and the Leicestershire Young Cricketers programmes since the age of 13 and sees his journey come full circle with the Foxes at the age of 18 after signing his first professional contract - the second player to graduate from the Academy heading into the 2020 season.
Bowley – an off-break bowler – caught the eye of the Leicestershire coaching staff during the 2019 season after helping the Second XI on their way to the County Championship final against Hampshire Second XI.
He also helped the Under 17s to their Royal London Cup triumph – taking 4-20 from nine overs in the victory which made it back-to-back titles for Leicestershire.
Upon signing his first professional contract in cricket with Leicestershire, Bowley said: “I am absolutely buzzing.
“It is a club that I have been at since I was 13 and is a club really close to me – I’m really excited to be on board.”
Bowley is currently in his first year of studies at the University of Loughborough so his cricket will run alongside his time at Loughborough – a situation similar to that of Alex Evans.
The past two days have seen him sit his first exam to then signing his first professional contract with the club, a stark contrast from one day to the next as he explains: “Yesterday was pretty tough, but today is obviously a great day. It has really changed my mood.”
The news of the club’s intentions could not have been more timely as it arrived just days before Christmas day: “I had a couple chats at the end of the season and throughout the winter with Nico [Paul Nixon] and it was really positive stuff.
“I then got the email just before Christmas, so it was a really nice Christmas present to be told that I was going to be signed – I was absolutely buzzing when I got it.”
Paul Nixon, Head Coach of Leicestershire CCC said: “Nat [Bowley] has got a great attitude and has been around professional environments for a few years now with his father who works at Leicester City Football Club.
“He is a wonderful young man with a quality attitude and high skill levels with the ball. It is clear that he has been working hard and making great progress with his batting as well.
“We are delighted with his progression and have rewarded him with his first contact.”
Bowley becomes the second player within four weeks to graduate from the Academy as Evans penned his first contract before Christmas.
Nixon praises the job being done within the Leicestershire Academy giving the club the opportunity to promote youth, a philosophy that dates back historically with the club: “We want to produce our own, that is part of the remit – that’s what we focus on at Leicestershire.
“It is vital that we bring our own through, and Nat has come right through the system. He has worked very hard under Jigar Naik over the last few years which is wonderful for us.
“It is a big plus for us that our Academy system is working well.”
With his first contract signed and sealed, Bowley’s focus now turns to the First XI and imposing himself upon the matchday squad throughout the 2020 season: “I want to try and break in to the first team, try and make my debut and hopefully contribute to some performances and some wins.”
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