Birmingham Bears leg spinner Josh Poysden and wicket-keeper/batsman Alex Mellor have signed new deals to commit to until at least the end of the 2018 season.

Poysden – who initially joined the Bears on trial ahead of the 2014 season – has extended his current deal for an extra year after playing a key role for the team in 2016. He also made his breakthrough for Warwickshire in the Specsavers County Championship, making five appearances including a five-wicket haul (five for 53) against Middlesex at Edgbaston in September.

The 25-year-old has spent part of this autumn working with the England Lions at the National Cricket Centre in Loughborough and is currently with the Lions’ squad at the training camp in Dubai.

Mellor – also 25 – joined the Bears ahead of the 2016 season and has signed a two-year contract extension.

The former Staffordshire gloveman spent a month of the 2016 season on loan at Derbyshire, but returned to deputise for the injured Tim Ambrose in Warwickshire’s Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final win over Somerset.

After a series of impressive performances in the second team, he subsequently won a place at the top of the order to open the batting with Ian Westwood in Warwickshire’s final three Specsavers County Championship games of the season.

Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: “Josh and Alex played important roles in our 2016 season and have proved that they can compete at the highest level of the domestic game whenever they have stepped up to the senior team.

“They have big futures here at Edgbaston and I am delighted that they will remain Bears until at least 2018.”