Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

Worcestershire pay tribute to cricketer Josh Baker after his death aged 20
Cricket Sport

Worcestershire pay tribute to cricketer Josh Baker after his death aged 20

Worcestershire have been left “heartbroken” and “devastated” after the death of Josh Baker, their promising left-arm spinner, at the age of 20.

Baker had been playing in a four-day second XI match against Somerset at Bromsgrove school this week, taking three wickets on the third day but then failing to show up on the fourth. His death was announced by the club on Thursday, the match having been abandoned at the lunch break.

“The news of Josh’s passing has left us all devastated,” said Ashley Giles, the club’s chief executive. “Josh was much more than a teammate; he was an integral part of our cricket family. We will all miss him terribly. All our love and prayers go out to Josh’s family and friends.”

No cause of death has been shared publicly at this stage, with ­Worcestershire requesting privacy as it consults Baker’s parents regarding a ­fitting tribute. The club is supporting teammates and staff members left shattered by the news.

The club said: “We are united in our grief and committed to honouring his memory in a manner befitting the remarkable person he was.

“ It was his vibrant spirit and infectious enthusiasm that endeared him to everyone he met. His warmth, kindness, and professionalism were remarkable, making him a true credit to his family and a loved member of our team.”

A product of Malvern College who rose through the county age-groups and turned professional in 2021, Redditch-born Baker played 22 first-class matches, claiming 43 wickets, and was capped twice by England at under-19 level.

In 2022, he was taken for 34 runs in a Championship over by Ben Stokes, who made a point of contacting the young spinner after the match to stress his “serious potential” and insist those six deliveries would not define him.

Baker was considered a burgeoning all-rounder himself, having made a career-best and match-winning 75 against Gloucestershire last season. In the final game of the campaign at Headingley he hit the runs that secured Worcestershire’s promotion back to Division One before embarking on a winter of club cricket in Australia.

Source: theguardian.com