Edward George Barnard
November 20, 1995, Shrewsbury
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Ed Barnard, a combative seam-bowling allrounder who thrives on pressure, is one of a talented group of players developed through the Worcestershire Academy and promising better times for the club. Unlike Joe Clarke, who chose to join Nottinghamshire after the 2018 season to pursue his England ambitions, Barnard stayed put, believing that a relatively young side that had just won the T20 Blast for the first time had yet to reach its full potential.
Initially impressing in the professional game more as a bowler - he graduated to the first team in the summer of 2015 and soon made himself a first-choice selection in white-ball cricket - Barnard had previously won two man-of-the-match awards at England U-19 level for his batting: he made a century in an U-19 Test against South Africa in January 2013 - helping his side to victory despite slumping to 89 for 5 in their first innings - and 93 against the UAE in the U-19 World Cup in February 2014.
He had a solid first full season in 2016, his director of cricket Steve Rhodes arguing that he performed better in first-class cricket than his figures suggested (430 runs at 26.88 batting low in the order, and 31 wickets at 43.58).
2017 was even better. He claimed 47 Championship wickets - and averaged 36.25 with the bat - to play a big part in Worcestershire's promotion. In white ball cricket, he played an ever greater part with the bat topping the team's batting averages in the Royal London Cup (albeit boosted by several 'not outs') and bowled only 43 balls in T20 cricket. That bowling return did not waver in Division One, as Worcestershire were relegated. Although his pace was not quite high enough to excite England, the respect for his talents was evident.
A former pupil of Shrewsbury School - he became the eighth pupil from the school to sign for a first-class county in six years when he agreed a summer contract in 2014 - Barnard previously represented Shropshire in Minor Counties cricket and Shrewsbury in the Birmingham League - and first attracted attention as part of England Under-19s World Cup squad that year.
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