Two of Kent’s rising stars, Adam Ball and Daniel Bell-Drummond, have extended their contracts with the Canterbury-based county.
The former Kent Cricket Academy graduates and England Under-19 players caught the eye enough during Kent’s 2011 County championship campaign to merit contract extensions.
Left-arm seamer and all-rounder Ball, from Bexley, signed his first professional contract with Kent aged just sixteen having already played more than three seasons for the Arsenal Football Academy. The 18-year-old has now committed himself to a further three years with Kent.
He made his county first team debut at the end of the 2010 campaign and went on to make nine first-class appearances last term, including a fluent 46 on debut against Gloucestershire. Ball has also impressed with the ball in the short-form game for the Spitfires’ Friends Life t20 side, often combining intelligently with James Tredwell and Darren Stevens in the middle overs to keep a brake on the scoring rate.
Fellow 18-year-old Bell-Drummond, born and raised in Lewisham but who has attended Millfield School in his teens, has signed a new two-year deal. Regarded as one of the most exciting young batting talents in the country, he is an aggressive right-handed opener and concluded the 2011 campaign as locum opening bat in the absence of the injured Rob Key.
Bell-Drummond will be seeking to establish himself in the Kent top order next season and looking to improve on last season’s modest average of 21.00.
In announcing the new deals, Kent’s high performance director Simon Willis said: “These two lads have developed through the Kent cricket system. They have worked extremely hard and are an excellent example of what can be achieved through hard work and determination.
“I’m extremely pleased that they have extended their contracts, and have the opportunity to develop and realise their potential as part of the Kent squad.”
Ball, who played in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, said: “I’m extremely pleased to have extended my contract. I learnt a great deal last season and feel extremely well supported by the club.
“I am also pleased to have the opportunity to study for my degree at the University of Kent while remaining fully committed to Kent for the next three years.”