Foxes contract extension
Young Wicketkeeper Signs on For More at Home County
Leicestershire County Cricket Club add to their homegrown wicket-keeping talent following Sam Bates’ contract extension at Grace Road.
Bates joins fellow academy graduates, Lewis Hill and Harry Swindells to complete the Running Foxes’ Leicestershire-born wicketkeeping contingent, all of who, study under Leicestershire legend and former-Wicketkeeper Paul Nixon.
The 21-year-old earned his promotion to the First XI during an injury-ridden spell for the wicketkeeping department during the 2020 season but did not make an appearance.
Bates will continue to ply his trade at his home county, and work alongside Nixon, Hill and Swindells as the Running Foxes prepare for the 2021 season.
Batting Prospect Evans Extends Career at Home County
Leicestershire County Cricket Club opening batsman Sam Evans has completed a contract extension at Grace Road keeping him at his home county for a further two years.
Academy graduate Evans becomes the latest Running Fox to commit his future to his hometown club following a whole host of his teammates who have bought in to Paul Nixon’s latest project in an exciting, young squad ahead of the 2021 season.
The 22-year old made his Championship debut for the Running Foxes back in 2017 against Northamptonshire CCC and has since been hard at work battling his way into the top of the order at Grace Road.
Evans’ commitment and determination came to a head in the truncated 2020 season which saw him open the batting alongside another Loughborough University graduate, Hassan Azad, in a fixture against Durham CCC in Leicester.
He went on to post a composed 85 from 175 balls, including nine fours, in a fixture that saw each side only bat once as they tried to force a result in a weather-affected clash.
Evans completed the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy campaign at the top of the order with appearances against Nottinghamshire CCC and Yorkshire CCC.
Once again, he shone alongside Azad with a second innings score of 48 against Nottinghamshire CCC following a 93-run third wicket stand alongside captain Colin Ackermann.
Davis to Remain at Grace Road for 2021
Seamer Will Davis has joined several Running Foxes teammates in signing a contract extension at Grace Road.
Davis joined from Derbyshire CCC ahead of the 2019 season and has since imposed himself upon the bowling unit displaying impressive performances with both the red and white ball.
He finished the 2019 season with 33 wickets to his name, 23 of them coming in the County Championship campaign, which made him the third highest wicket taker in the competition for the Running Foxes behind experienced duo Chris Wright and Mohammad Abbas.
During a truncated 2020 campaign, Davis took a further 10 wickets with the majority of them coming in the Running Foxes impressive run to the Vitality Blast quarter-finals.
His form in the Vitality Blast culminated in a crucial three-wicket haul against eventual winners Notts Outlaws in a group stage crunch match for the Foxes at Grace Road.
Davis took the huge wicket of Tom Moores who had just reached his half-century and was beginning to accelerate the Outlaws’ scoring rate, and then followed up two balls later with the important wicket of Outlaws skipper Dan Christian.
His third and final wicket of the match came with the important dismissal of dangerous batsman Steven Mullaney for just 11.
Davis’ death bowling was a key feature for Colin Ackermann in the tournament and he produced another fine spell in the quarter-final against the same opponents.
Exciting bowler Evans pledges future to Running Foxes
Leicestershire County Cricket Club Academy graduate Alex Evans has cemented his future at Grace Road after signing a contract extension ahead of the 2021 season.
It is further good news for the Running Foxes after experienced bowler Chris Wright agreed new terms last week.
Evans made his County Championship debut in 2019 against Northamptonshire CCC at Grace Road following impressive form in the Second XI, including a strong showing in the Championship Final against Hampshire Second XI.
The 20-year-old finished the fixture with figures of 4 for 79 after impressing with the red ball.
Evans went on to make two appearances in the condensed 2020 Bob Willis Trophy campaign, taking three wickets for 140 runs against strong Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire sides.
The Loughborough University student has claimed 10 first-class wickets in his career with an economy rate of 3.14, heading into the 2021 season as a key part of the club’s bowling unit.
Chris Wright Extends Stay at Grace Road
Experienced bowler Chris Wright has committed his future to the Running Foxes following a contract extension at Grace Road at the end of the 2020 season.
Wright joined Leicestershire from Warwickshire ahead of the 2019 campaign and has opened the bowling ever since.
He came with a wealth of knowledge and experience that was vital in the transformation of County in the past two seasons and Wright has a huge part to play in this young, exciting Leicestershire squad.
The 35-year old is County’s highest wicket-taker in red ball cricket during his time at Grace Road with 52, in a team, that in 2019, featured one of the most skilled operators in the world in Muhammad Abbas.
Wright finished top of the wicket-taking charts for Leicestershire in 2019 with 51 first-class wickets in his first season including his best match figures of 7/131 against Glamorgan in Cardiff in September 2019.
He then took five more in his second season having featured twice before an injury sustained against Derbyshire CCC prevented him from taking the cherry again in the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy.
Wright was County’s most used red ball bowler in 2019 by some margin. He finished his first season with the Running Foxes averaging under 30 per wicket, with an impressive economy rate of 3.42 from a total of 424.2 overs in the County Championship.
Ben Mike Commits Future to Running Foxes
Allrounder Ben Mike is the latest talented cricketer to commit his future to the Running Foxes following an impressive 2020 campaign. The exciting all-rounder has penned a 2-year contract extension at Grace Road.
Mike claimed the plaudits following a last-ball victory at Grace Road over the Yorkshire Vikings in the Vitality Blast which saw the youngster smash Adam Lyth back over his head for a huge six with three needed to win.
The 22-year old finished the fixture against the Vikings on 22no from nine balls, representing a strike-rate of 244.44 at the death.
In all, Mike had an explosive 2020 Vitality Blast campaign with the bat, frequently coming in towards the end of the innings because of his power-hitting abilities.
He finished the Blast campaign with 70 runs from 39 balls at a strike-rate of 179.48 – the highest amongst the Foxes squad.
Mike’s spell with the ball was also useful, finishing the Blast season with three wickets and an economy rate of 6.87, bowling in tight areas at crucial points throughout the competition.
Further, Mike finished the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy campaign as joint-top wicket-taker for Leicestershire County Cricket Club with nine to his name alongside Dieter Klein.
He played a pivotal role in the opening round victory over Lancashire CCC at Blackfinch New Road, claiming 4-39 from 17.1 overs in the second innings.
The 2020 red ball campaign also saw him post a first-class best in Leicestershire colours, posting 51no from 83 balls in the draw at Grace Road against Nottinghamshire CCC.
Hassan Azad extends Foxes contract
Leicestershire County Cricket Club are pleased to announce that Hassan Azad has signed a contract extension keeping him in Leicestershire until the end of 2022.
Azad made his breakthrough at the Fischer County Ground in the 2019 curtain raiser against Loughborough MCCU after posting 139 retired out on debut for the county.
He then continued to impress as the County Championship got underway after posting his maiden Championship half-century in the victory over Sussex, which was quickly followed with another half-century against Worcestershire in the next fixture.
His best outing for the Running Foxes came when Gloucestershire visited Leicestershire. Azad posted centuries in both innings, rescuing a draw in a fixture that saw over 1,200 runs scored.
Azad then posted his third century of the season in the return fixture at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival a month later.
He finished his debut season as the top run-scorer in County Championship Division Two with 1,189, second only to Dom Sibley of Warwickshire throughout both County Championship divisions.
The 26-year old has become a staple at the top of the order for Leicestershire since arriving on the scene, and has continued 2020 in the same vain as he ended 2019 after posting a half-century in the victory over Lancashire in the opening round of the Bob Willis Trophy.