Masters, Reece and Foakes sign new Essex contracts

Reece Topley
Topley played five one-day internationals for England Under-19s against South Africa in July

Essex bowlers David Masters and Reece Topley and all-rounder Ben Foakes have agreed new deals with the county.

Masters, 33, has signed a three-year contract, while 17-year-old Topley has finalised terms on a two-year stay.

Foakes, 18, has agreed his first professional contract, which will run until 2013.

Masters, the County Championship's leading wicket-taker this season, said: "The new deal is ideal as I would like to finish my career at Essex.

"There are a crop of good young cricketers coming through. I believe we can win silverware."

Masters had a huge year for Essex in the County Championship, claiming eight five-wicket hauls, including a career best 8-10 in the win over Leicestershire at Southend.

Topley has impressed in his breakthrough season, taking 25 wickets in seven County Championship matches and securing two five-wicket hauls.

The England Under-19 seamer has decided to give up his A-level studies to focus on cricket.

"I and my family are very comfortable with this decision," he explained.

"I am aware that I am in an incredibly exciting and lucky place in my cricketing development and the possibility of many wonderful opportunities arising.

"Potentially I may have an extremely busy schedule this winter with England U19's preparing for next year's important ICC U19 World Cup with numerous trips to the sub-continent and Australasia, and it would be too challenging to undertake A-levels by e-mail or alone in a hotel room."

Foakes, a fellow Under-19 international, made his senior bow behind the stumps against Sri Lanka in June, taking three catches.

Head coach Paul Grayson said: "We see Ben very much as part of the first team in the future and I am looking forward to helping him develop his career as a cricketer."

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