The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have announced that Warwickshire’s Olly Stone is one of three cricketers to be awarded a new England Pace Bowling Development Contract.
Under the terms of the new contracts, personnel from the ECB’s National Performance Centre will provide more contact time with a group of high potential young seam bowlers and greater control, in collaboration with their County, over their playing programmes through both the summer and the winter months.
Stone remains very much a Warwickshire player and is employed by the Bears, but the ECB now makes a significant contribution to his employment costs.
We’re committed to developing players who can shine on the biggest stage and it’s excellent that Olly is so highly thought of by the England management team and that he is in their long-terms bowling plans.Paul Farbrace
As part of the agreement Stone, alongside Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood and Somerset’s Craig Overton, commits to making himself available to participate in the England Lions Individualised Player Programme and Lions Tour, subject to selection.
Ashley Giles, Managing Director – England Men’s Cricket, said: “Having a strong supply line of high-quality seam bowlers is an essential ingredient for sustained England Team success in both white-ball and red-ball cricket.
“We are very grateful to the First-Class Counties for agreeing to this, in particular, Lancashire, Somerset and Warwickshire. We are committed to working very closely with them to best develop players for the long-term benefit of English cricket and to ensure they are at their very best to perform at optimum levels throughout the domestic campaign.
Stone, 26, made his Test debut against Ireland in July after impressing the England set-up in four ODIs during England’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2018. After a stress fracture of the lower back curtailed most of his 2019 campaign, he is returning to full fitness under the guidance of Warwickshire strength and conditioning and medical team.
He attended a fast bowling camp in South Africa in December, alongside Jimmy Anderson and Mark Wood, and showed the progress that he is on-track to regain full fitness ahead of the 2020 campaign with Warwickshire.
Paul Farbrace, Sport Director at Warwickshire CCC, said: “We’re committed to developing players who can shine on the biggest stage and it’s excellent that Olly is so highly thought of by the England management team and that he is in their long-terms bowling plans with a view to the upcoming programme in the World Test Championship and the next Ashes series in 2021/22.
“He had a lot of misfortunate with injury last season after enjoying such an excellent 2018. However, with the support of our medical and strength and conditioning team, he’s in excellent shape and he will play a full part in our pre-season programme.
“Having a fit and fast Olly Stone for the start of our 2020 campaign will be an excellent asset to Warwickshire and will hopefully create more opportunities for him in the international arena.”
Stone, alongside Mahmood and Overton, will remain under the England Pace Bowling Development Contract until September 30 2020.