Barbadian batting-allrounder Jacob Bethell has signed a three-year pro deal with Warwickshire and appears to have set his sights on an England career.
The 17-year-old, who joined the club aged 12, is a top-order batsman and a left-arm spinner
Bethell has previously played five second XI matches for the Bears, all of which came in 2019.
“Jacob has the potential to achieve a huge amount in his professional career at Warwickshire,” high-performance manager Paul Greetham said of the youngster, who has been training with the England Lions this winter.
“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.
“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.”
Bethell won this week’s Player Awards at the Banbury Festival, the Surgeon Hobbes Memorial Awards (previous winners include Mike Atherton, Mark Ramprakash, Mike Gatting, Dom Sibley).
Warwickshire believes they have something special in Bethell. Many say he has been the best batter at the club since Ian Bell and the best spinner since Neil Smith. He has the potential to play the first team cricket within the next few years.
Bethell is the latest line of talented young Caribbean players who have chosen to pursue a career in the United Kingdom. And like Chris Jordan and Jofra Archer before him – both were big assets for England’s cricket, one of whom contributed significantly to winning the World Cup within a few months of his debut – it could mean that England’s gain is once more the West Indies’ loss.
Bethell attended Harrison College and represented Barbados in the 2018 West Indies Under-15 Tournament. He was the most valuable player, scorer of the most runs and won the highest personal score award – a century against Jamaica. (Adapted, The Cricketer/GD)