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Warwickshire teenager signs first professional contract as Caribbean talent drain continues

Warwickshire teenager signs first professional contract as Caribbean talent drain

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Jacob Bethell’s talents have excited club’s coaches but his contract is part of a concerning trend

Jacob Bethell’s name might not be familiar right now, but his signing for Warwickshire may prove significant for years to come.

Bethell is a talented young player. Aged 17, he has already played county second XI cricket and has been training with England’s Young Lions squad. He has won a player of the week award at the Bunbury Festival, the Sir John Hobbs Memorial Prize (previously winners include Mike Atherton, Mark Ramprakash, Mike Gatting and Dom Sibley) and the Gray-Nicolls Young Cricketer of the Year award.

Now, despite looking so fresh-faced Ollie Pope could be his dad, he has signed a three-year deal with Warwickshire.

It’s always dangerous to speculate on the future of young players, but Warwickshire think they have something special with Bethell. Some suggest he is the best batsman to emerge at the club since Ian Bell and the best spinner since Neil Smith. He could feasibly be playing first-team cricket within the next couple of years.

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