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Billy Root signs first deal with Notts

Billy Root made a quickfire 46 Getty Images

Billy Root has been rewarded for his promising performances for Nottinghamshire this season, particularly in T20 and one-day cricket, with a two-year contract - his first as a professional. Root, whose brother Joe is England's Test captain, scored his maiden List A hundred this year and has been averaging 67 in the NatWest T20 Blast.

His coach, Peter Moores, has been impressed with Root. "Billy worked very hard in the off season and used his bowling to help get him a chance in the side from where he could show what he could do with the bat as well," Moores said.

Moores has also been satisfied with Root's consistency and believes that he can become an established allrounder if he keeps developing. "He's been an effective player for us, particularly in one-day cricket, and we're looking for him to now push on in both white and red ball cricket after working very hard for this opportunity," Moores said.

Root's versatility has made him a useful option at Notts and helped him win a first contract at the age of 25. "He's starting to put all three formats together," Moores said.

Root has had to work for his chance in the shadow of a more famous sibling. Billy followed Joe in coming through the Yorkshire academy. However, in 2011, Billy was released and went on to join the MCC Young Cricketers programme - which led to him appearing as a substitute fielder during the 2013 Ashes Test at Lord's, briefly joining his brother on the field.

Shortly after, Root began a degree in Sports Business Management at Leeds University but, although his hopes of a professional career appeared to be fading, he was playing regularly with Notts seconds, which gave him the encouragement to not give up.

He subsequently made his County Championship debut at the back end of 2016. Then, at the start of this season, Root made his List A debut for Nottinghamshire against Worcestershire and scored 46 off 42 balls. He also made his T20 debut this year, against Yorkshire, and has featured in seven games ahead of this week's quarter-final. The hope at Trent Bridge is that he can continue to progress in all three aspects of the game.

Luke Fletcher, the fast bowler who sustained a season-ending head injury last month, has also been awarded a new two-year deal. Fletcher, 28, was hit in his follow through by a shot from Birmingham's Sam Hain during a T20 Blast match and was advised by medical staff not to play again this year as he continues his recovery.