Warwickshire County Cricket Club has extended the contracts of Will Rhodes, Ryan Sidebottom, Henry Brookes and Alex Thomson beyond the original end of 2019 terms.
Rhodes, who arrived at Edgbaston from Yorkshire at the end of 2017, enjoyed a strong debut season for at the top of the order in the Specsavers County Championship, with his 974 First Class runs helping Warwickshire to promotion and the Division Two title. The 23-year-old has extended his contract by two years to cover both the 2020 and 2021 domestic seasons.
"Extending the contracts of the four players beyond their original 2019 season end gives confidence and security to both the player and ourselves."
Having joined midway through the 2017 season from Birmingham & District Premier League side Berkswell, Sidebottom has taken 48 wickets in 16 Championship matches for the Bears at an average of 24.04. Born in Victoria, Australia, the 29-year-old fast bowler has signed a one-year extension to remain a Bear until at least the end of the 2020 season.
Warwickshire Academy graduate Brookes became an established member of the Bears team across all three formats in 2018 after signing his first professional contract a year earlier. Still only 19, the Solihull-born fast bowler has made six Championship, seven List A and five T20 appearances to date and he has committed until at least the end of the 2021 season.
Thomson (25) initially trialled and made two Championship appearances for the Bears at the end of the 2017 season before signing his first professional contract last winter. Having impressed on debut this season in the Vitality Blast with four for 35 against Lancashire Lightning and taking three for 53 in his List A debut versus West Indies A, the off-spinning all-rounder has signed a one-year extension to cover the 2020 domestic season.
Ashley Giles, Sport Director at Warwickshire CCC, said: “Will, Ryan, Henry and Alex are all excellent professionals and have big futures ahead of them as Bears. Extending the contracts of the four players beyond their original 2019 season end gives confidence and security to both the player and ourselves.
“Will has enjoyed a fantastic breakthrough season in the Championship and the opening partnership that he has formed with Dom Sibley has the potential to serve the Bear & Ragged Staff for many years. Despite being ever present in the Championship, he’s only made two appearances in both white ball formats, but his ability with bat and ball could play an important role for us in List A and T20 in 2019.
“Ryan was unlucky with injury in the early part of last season, but he still took an impressive 25 wickets at an average of 25.76 in nine games to help us to promotion and the Division Two title. With the departures of Chris Wright and Keith Barker, Ryan is now a senior member of our attack and he will also play an important role in helping our younger bowlers develop.
“Henry made a big impact across all three formats in 2018 and demonstrated why he is being talked about as one of the most exciting, young fast bowlers the game. He has a huge future ahead of him with Warwickshire, Birmingham Bears and potentially England, and he is developing well under Graeme Welch.
“Alex is a model professional and he made match-winning contributions with both bat and ball in the second XI last season, whilst also showing glimpses of what he can do is his one List A and T20 appearance. He’s made a great impression with all of the cricket management team in his debut season and he has the potential to play a much bigger role in the first team if he continues developing his game.”