Pace bowler Michael Booth says he’s “buzzing to be a Bear” after agreeing a three-year contract with Warwickshire.

It’s been quite a journey for Zimbabwe-born Booth. He first showed his potential playing for Zimbabwe Under-13s before moving to study in South Africa, where he represented first class cricket club KwaZulu-Natal Inland from U15s to U19s, and onto Durham University in 2020.

Now the 22-year-old has signed his first professional contract after impressing Bears’ coaches in training and several Second XI outings since 2021.

Booth, who made his senior debut in the Metro Bank One Day Cup this year, said: “I’ve been around the squad since 2021 but having had a taste of the senior side in the One Day Cup I can’t wait to get started again in November.

“I finished my university studies in June but my biggest hope was always to get a contract. I’m so thankful to Warwickshire giving me an opportunity and I’m determined to prove my worth and keep improving.

“I loved the 50-over comp and being around the guys. My Glamorgan debut was a tough game, but my next chance at Worcestershire I bowled a lot better and you could tell from my celebration how much that first wicket meant to me.

“I’m loving playing, loving travelling as part of the squad, and getting to know the lads better.”

Booth – who took his first senior wicket at local rivals Worcestershire – made six appearances as a rookie in the South African Provincial T20 Cup in 2019 before heading to Durham University where he was a former teammate of Chris Benjamin.

He sees an opportunity to make an impact in Warwickshire’s first team squad by offering a genuine pace option.

“I’ve been working with Barnesy (Bowling Coach Stuart Barnes) on seam position and bowling quick. Every day I’m working on getting that little bit faster. I think I’ve got that extra yard and can utilise that in short spells and do some damage.

“I want to break into all formats – red and white ball – and improve my batting to become a proper number seven. I’ll be working hard all winter and want to make a big impression next season.”

First Team Coach Mark Robinson agrees that Booth – who graduated Durham University with a First Class Degree in Economics – has genuine potential as a bowling all-rounder.

“Michael has impressed everyone at the Club in his short time with us,” he added.

“He is very conscientious as a person, can bowl a heavy ball, and has promise to become a true bowling all-rounder if he continues to work hard.

“We are all excited about watching him develop over the next few years and start to make an impact in the first team.”

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