PROLIFIC Pears opener Jake Libby has revealed his international hopes after penning a contract extension until the end of the 2024 campaign.
The 28-year-old admitted he wasn’t thinking about an England call up in his last 12 months with Nottinghamshire before making the move to New Road.
But his superb form and consistency in all formats of the game which seen him appointed red ball vice-captain has sparked a desire for international recognition as well as success on the field for the county.
Libby had 12 months remaining of the three-year deal he signed after moving from Trent Bridge at the end of the 2019 campaign.
“It’s been an excellent move for me and I was always really keen to stay and will hopefully continue to get better,” he said,
“I think we can challenge for trophies and push ourselves to be where we want to be in the coming years.
“This group can go onto compete, in whatever format, as a Division One club as that’s how I see the next three or four years.”
Libby admitted he feels more settled at New Road and has thrived as a senior player under skipper Joe Leach and head coach Alex Gidman.
“I’m 28 now. Two or three years ago, I wouldn’t even be thinking of international cricket,” he said.
“I’ve come a long way as a player and I think I’ve reaped the benefits of being at Worcestershire. I feel a better player now.
“I do have international ambitions, I think I can achieve them at Worcestershire, but I am also aware I need to keep improving and work on a few things to get to that level.
In 2020 Libby was the country’s leading run-scorer in the Bob Willis Trophy group stages, with 498 runs. This summer, only Durham’s David Bedingham has surpassed his tally of 798 in the LV=Insurance County Championship.
He has scored a total of 1,296 red ball runs, at an average of 58.90, with four hundreds and six fifties.
Libby also topped the Rapids 2020 and 2021 averages in the Vitality Blast.
The Pears head coach said Libby had become an integral part of the group.
“He has got some great qualities, some outstanding characteristics, on and off the pitch,” Gidman said.
“He adds a lot to our group so it is a natural progression for him to take up a leadership role.”
Steering Group Chairman Paul Pridgeon echoed Gidman’s thoughts and suggested Libby could be a future Worcestershire captain.
“Since we signed Jake from Nottinghamshire, he has done nothing but improve. He has been incredibly consistent and has fitted into our dressing room perfectly
“He has got the respect of everyone, but also, we have seen little things in him which indicate in the long term, he could make a future captain.
“We are giving him little bits of responsibility to take forward, and we will see how he develops with that,” he added.