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Ten young players sign for Lancashire

Cricinfo staff

September 16, 2008

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Tom Smith has impressed since his return from his stint at Leicestershire © Getty Images
Ten players, products of the Lancashire Development Programme, have agreed to new contracts or contract extensions with the county. The players, seven of whom have come through the club's academy, are expected to form the backbone of the senior squad in the future.

Manager Mike Watkinson recently held contract talks with Lancashire's uncapped players and said he was delighted with the signings and had high expectations from all ten.

"Despite four no-results, a number of our younger players have had opportunities in this year's Pro40 campaign," he said. " It has been very encouraging to see the energy, talent and commitment demonstrated by these players, and it bodes well for the future."

Fast bowler Tom Smith, among those given a contract, hopes to establish himself as a key member of the Lancashire attack. He has impressed Watkinson with his form with bat and ball since his return from a stint at Leicestershire.

"My batting has come on in leaps and I would like to think of myself as more of an allrounder. I batted in the top six at Leicestershire in the limited-over games and at seven in the four-dayers, and I got 50-plus a couple of times and had a run average of about 40. After the responsibility there I know I can do it," he told the Liverpool Echo.

Smith said he had worked very hard on his bowling, which earned him a place in the Lancashire first-team attack. "After my first season I played really well, but I then changed a few things and it did not quite work out. This season, I have gone back to basics, hitting a good length six times out of six."

The others to sign new contracts are Simon Kerrigan, Stephen Cheetham, Karl Brown, Steven Croft, Gareth Cross, Kyle Hogg, Steven Mullaney, Oliver Newby and Stephen Parry.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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