TOP-ORDER batsman Tom Fell and paceman Charlie Morris have signed contract extensions with Worcestershire CCC until the end of the 2022 campaign.
Fell and Morris both had one year remaining on their current deals but have put pen to paper for a further 12 months at Blackfinch New Road.
The duo played important roles in Worcestershire’s success in the Bob Willis Trophy this summer.
Twenty-six-year-old Fell was one of six Worcestershire batsman to average more than 40 in the competition.
He scored 336 runs after playing in all five games including a magnificent century at Northampton – his first in first-class cricket since battling back from illness.
In the process Fell, who also hit a half-century against Warwickshire, passed 4,000 first-class runs in his career and has an overall total of 4,144 at 30.47.
Worcestershire Head Coach Alex Gidman said: “I’m delighted for Tom. He has worked extremely hard on his game from November last year putting a lot of hours in focusing on the basics of the game, which he has translated into performances.
“Although it was only a shortened season, I’m pleased for him that he proved to himself how good he can be, and delighted he is staying with us for a little bit longer.
“Every player who plays the game for a long time goes through challenging periods in their careers, and he is no different, hopefully for him and the club, he has got plenty of years left in him at the sort of level he showed last season.”
Morris continued the form he had demonstrated in 2019 when he won the club’s Dick Lygon Award and was voted the Supporters’ Association Player of the Year.
The 28-year-old picked up 14 wickets at 22.50 runs apiece from his three appearances in the Trophy including 5-80 against Warwickshire – the sixth five-wicket haul of his career.
He finished second in the County’s averages behind Ed Barnard and had the best strike rate of the Worcestershire bowlers in the Trophy with a wicket every 42.6 deliveries.
Morris will go into next season needing only three more wickets to reach 200 in first-class cricket – a milestone achieved by Barnard at the tail-end of the 2020 campaign.
His 197 wickets have been achieved from 63 matches at 29.33 runs apiece.
Gidman said: “We all know that Charlie is the ultimate pro. He works extremely hard, is as fit as a fiddle and is a vital member of the squad.
“He is very reliable and consistently performs for us and once again pleased he is going to be staying with us for a little bit longer.
“I’m looking forward to how he and the rest of the bowling group evolve over the next couple of years.”
Gidman recognises the importance of having key performers in the squad secured for the longer term with the County.
He said: “Building a squad that we believe can compete in all competitions takes time. There has been a lot of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the squad over the last year or two.
“We’ve still got work to do, but we’ve certainly made a huge amount of progress in rebalancing the squad, and both Tom and Charlie have earned the right to be part of that.”
Worcestershire CCC Cricket Steering Group Chairman, Paul Pridgeon, said: “We are continuing what we have tried to do all the way along and that is to look after our players.
“It is great that we have got Tom and Charlie signed up for the next two years.”