Chris Rushworth has agreed a one-year contract extension with Warwickshire after a standout debut season saw him among the County Championship’s leading wicket takers.

Rushworth claimed 53 wickets in 13 red-ball matches last season, including a stunning 7-38 at Hampshire in just 13 overs, as he made an immediate impression in his first summer as a Bear.

The 37-year-old signed from his hometown club Durham – where he was the all-time leading wicket taker – last season on a two-year contract with a performance-based option to add a third year.

Both he and the Club have agreed to the extension, triggered after ‘Rushy’ surpassed 50 wickets, which means he’ll stay with Warwickshire until at least the end of the 2025 season.

“I’ve absolutely loved it,” said Rushworth, who’s taken 656 First Class wickets at an average of 22.42. “To come away at the end of the season, a pretty successful season in terms of results and where we finished, and a personal milestone of reaching 50 wickets, it couldn’t really have gone any better.

“My main aim was settling in and enjoying playing cricket again. I lost that a little bit towards the end of my time at Durham. I absolutely love the game and just want to play in a fun, enjoyable environment. I found that at Edgbaston.

“To be involved with such a great Club for at least another two years, while I’m still fit, doing well, and loving playing, it’s something I’m super excited about.

“I want to try and go as long as possible. I truly believe the squad we’re putting together looks like it can challenge on all fronts, we saw glimpses of that last year, and I want to be around to contribute towards and share some of that success.”

Rushworth is just 69 deliveries short of sending down a staggering 30,000 balls in First Class cricket. But he admits he was as nervous as he’s ever felt when making his Bears debut at Somerset last April.

“The first day was called off because of the pitch and weather,” added the father-of-two, “so I had to wait another 24 hours for my Bears debut.

“That Friday morning I was probably as nervous as I’ve ever been in cricket. I’ve played in a Lord’s final and another final at Trent Bridge, but I don’t think I was as nervous as I was that day at Taunton.

“People say nerves are a good thing: it shows you care. I just wanted to fit in and do well with the Bears, turning up with a new team, new teammates, new members and supporters to impress. Everyone is kind of watching out and seeing how I would do…so yeah I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.

“The lads were great at helping me find my feet. And the partnership I struck up with Olly (Hannon-Dalby) really helped and I think pushed both of us on.

“That friendly rivalry, as we were both hovering around that 50-wicket milestone, was a great motivator. He beat me to it at Lord’s and I was chuffed for him.

“Olly’s a guy I’ve known for a long time so to have that opening partnership with him, sharing similar success, was something I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Rushworth has now set his sights on 700 red ball wickets and says his focus is fully on next season…not on what life after playing cricket looks like.

He added: “30,000 red ball deliveries is pretty mad when you think about it. Sometimes I can feel every single one of them!

“I’m in good shape, though, and although age plays it’s part a bit now, I know my body pretty well and how to manage it. Hopefully there are plenty more overs and wickets left in the tank.

“If I keep performing and keep getting picked, the 700 (wickets) will come pretty soon and I’ll look ahead to the next goal.

“I’m not looking beyond the two years. I try not to look too far ahead, I’ve been guilty of that before. I want to stay more in the moment and not worry about what’s two or three years down the line. Who knows what comes after playing cricket?

“For me it’s about focusing on next season and building on what’s been a brilliant start for me as a Bear.”

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