COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP NEWS
Cricbuzz Staff •
Stone was one of Warwickshire’s standout performers last year, taking 43 Championship wickets at the remarkable average of 12.21 © Getty
Warwickshire and England fast-bowler Olly Stone has signed a contract extension with the county that will see him remain at Edgbaston until at least the end of the 2022 English season.
Stone is regarded as one of the quickest fast-bowlers in the country, capable of consistently bowling over 90mph. Highly rated by England, he was called up for the Test and ODI tours of Sri Lanka late last year for the first time and made his international debut in the first ODI in Dambulla. He will also be part of England’s Test squad for their three-match tour of West Indies which begins this month in Barbados.
Although Stone was one of Warwickshire’s standout performers last year, taking 43 Championship wickets at the remarkable average of 12.21, the 25 year-old’s time in Birmingham has not been smooth sailing. He joined the club from Midland neighbours Northamptonshire at the end of the 2016 season but did not play for Warwickshire until the latter half of 2017 due to a serious knee injury sustained whilst celebrating a wicket during one of his final games for Northants.
He played a few matches for Warwickshire in 2017 but it was only last year that Stone finally managed to string a consistent number of games and performances together for his new county. “Having arrived at Edgbaston with a career threatening injury, Olly has shown courage, determination and skill to get himself back to full fitness and show what a valuable player he is to Warwickshire and Birmingham Bears,” said first-team coach, Jim Troughton.
Following Mark Wood’s failure to nail down a spot in the Test team, England lack a bowler of genuine pace in red-ball cricket and Stone, tall, rangy and smart, cannot be far away from a debut. With James Anderson likely to retire after this summer’s Ashes and Stuart Broad entering the latter stages of his career too, National Selector Ed Smith has a massive task on over the next 18 months to revamp England’s fast-bowling unit. Stone would appear central to those plans.
“I’m delighted to have signed a new deal,” said Stone. “I love the club, it has so much history and I’m really excited about the future. The lads are great, I’ve settled in here really well and I can’t wait for the upcoming season where hopefully we can continue our excellent performance from last year.”