Warwickshire County Cricket Club has secured a three-year professional contract with Academy top order batsman and left-arm orthodox bowler Jacob Bethell.

Born in Barbados, Bethell came to Warwickshire aged 12 as part of the Club’s relationship with Rugby School and its Director of Cricket and former Club Captain Michael Powell. He subsequently played for Warwickshire’s Under 13s county age group team and Emerging Players Programme before being awarded an Academy place in 2018.

Now aged 17, Bethell played one Second XI Championship and four Second XI T20 fixtures for the Bears in 2019 and he has recently been training at Loughborough with the England Young Lions squad. In September he was part of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Best v Best fixtures to support the development of some of the most talented, young cricketers in the country.

“Jacob has the potential to achieve a huge amount in his professional career at Warwickshire. He can bat anywhere in the top order, he presents a very attractive slow left-arm spin option and he is a natural athlete who is excellent in the field.

Paul Greetham, Warwickshire High Performance Manager

“He came into the Warwickshire pathway as a very talented, young cricketer and we’re proud of the partnership that we have created with Rugby School in advancing his development and getting him into a position to join the professional ranks at 17-years-old.”

Michael Powell, Director of Cricket at Rugby School, said: “Jacob is a very impressive young cricketer with an all-round ability to change a game with bat, ball and in the field. Rugby School has been a great environment for him to develop and we are all very excited about Jacob’s future with the Bears.”

Bethell becomes the sixth Warwickshire men’s cricketer to have graduated from Club’s Academy in the last two years, following on from batsmen Rob Yates and Dan Mousley, seamer George Garrett and all-rounder Ethan Brookes in 2019. Seamer Manraj Johal was also awarded his first senior contract in October.

Additionally, a further four Academy graduates were named in the list of 41 women’s cricketers to be awarded professional contracts by the ECB at the end of last year, with batter Marie Kelly and seamer Issy Wong signing for their home Central Sparks team and all-rounders Bethan Ellis and Georgia Hennessy signing for Lightning and Western Storm respectively.

“We’ve been closely following the progress of Jacob in the Academy over the last two years and he looks confident and assured whenever he takes a step up, whether that has been in Second XI cricket or with the Young Lions.

Paul Farbrace

“We’re very excited about his potential and our thanks also go to Michael Powell and his team at Rugby School is helping Jacob develop the skills set, temperament and work ethic, which can help him make it to the top.

“Whilst he will spend more time at Edgbaston training and being around the senior men’s squad, we’re committed to providing the best possible environment for Jacob to complete his studies at Rugby School and also supporting him into further education should he wish to take that path alongside his cricket career.”

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