Worcestershire: All-rounder Joe Leach agrees new deal until 2018

Joe Leach
Leach averages 36.69 with the bat and 28.30 with the ball in Championship cricket in 2015

All-rounder Joe Leach has signed a new three-year contract with Worcestershire - the fourth player to commit himself to the club in the last two weeks.

The 24-year-old has taken 54 Championship wickets and scored 477 runs in Division One this summer.

"This season has gone better than I expected. I'm having the sort of season that dreams are made of," Leach said.

"Personally, I'm really pleased to be doing well, but I'm focused on trying to keep us in Division One."

Leach's previous contract had a year left to run, but his new deal ties him to New Road until 2018 and he joins wicketkeeper/batsman Joe Clarke, all-rounder Ross Whiteley and seam bowler Ed Barnard in extending their stays with the county.

Blossoming with bat and ball
Starting out as a batsman predominantly, Leach was out for a duck on his Championship debut against Warwickshire, but followed that with 46 and 1-15 from five overs in his next game against Lancashire.
His maiden century followed in 2013 against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.
This season, he has taken career-best innings figures (6-73 v Warwickshire) and match figures (9-152 v Hampshire) and a hat-trick with the first three balls of a One-Day Cup game against Northants.

"It feels like a club going in the right direction, Bumpy (director of cricket Steve Rhodes) is obviously keen to get a group of us together he has identified to take the club forward," said Leach.

"He has put a lot of faith in us and now it is up to us to repay him."

Stafford-born Leach made his first-class debut against Surrey while still at university in 2012 and followed that with his Championship debut for Worcestershire against Warwickshire at Edgbaston later that summer.

With three games to go Worcestershire are in the second relegation spot in Division One, four points behind Sussex who they play in a vital match at New Road starting on 1 September.

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