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Warwickshire County Cricket Club have promoted 20-year-old homegrown fast bowler Manraj Johal onto his first full professional contract.

Born in Birmingham and from West Bromwich, Johal made his breakthrough to the senior men’s team last season having initially signed on a rookie contract after coming through the Club’s pathway and Academy. He has signed a new two-year contract with Warwickshire, which runs to the end of the 2023 season.

“Like many bowlers within our attack, Manny made a huge amount of progress last year,” said Warwickshire Director of Cricket Paul Farbrace. “He’s relished the opportunity of joining the professional ranks and has given a very good account of himself whenever he has stepped up to the senior team.

“He worked incredibly hard to win his rookie contract 18 months ago by getting stronger and fitter and he’s now developing his skillset and has gained a few yards of extra pace. Seeing him taking wickets in the second team and pushing for a regular place in the first XI is exactly what we want Manny to do.

Paul Farbrace

“Having this new contract provides a great platform for him to kick on even further and we’re very excited by what he could achieve.”

Johal has been with the Bears since the under 11s county age group team. The new contract represents a huge turnaround for the fast bowler who lost his place in the Emerging Players Programme before winning it back a year later.

“Getting the opportunity to take to the field as a Bear in the Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord’s last year was a dream,” said Manraj Johal. “But having got a small taste of what it’s like to play on the biggest stage, I’m hungry for more opportunities.

“I’m very much aware that there’s a huge amount of hard work required to succeed at this level. It’s a very exciting time to be a Bear and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead and pushing for a place in the first team.”

Johal made his senior debut in the Royal London Cup in 2021 and took seven wickets in six games. He subsequently took four wickets on his First Class debut at Lord’s to help the reigning LV= Insurance County Champions complete a red ball double with victory in the Bob Willis Trophy.

He recently moved to Smethwick CC, to play in Premier Division One of the Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League having previously represented West Bromwich Dartmouth CC and Olton & West Warwickshire CC.

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