England women’s head coach ‘really sad’ at the news of Josh Baker’s passing

Jon Lewis drew on personal experiences to explain how the Worcestershire players may struggle

Sonia Twigg
Friday 03 May 2024 11:21 BST
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Jon Lewis expressed his sympathies to Worcestershire
Jon Lewis expressed his sympathies to Worcestershire (Getty Images)

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England women’s head coach Jon Lewis expressed his sympathies with everyone at Worcestershire following the passing of Josh Baker.

On Thursday, the midlands club announced the death of the 20-year-old and paid a moving tribute to the young cricketer, which was echoed around the cricketing world.

Baker turned professional for the club in 2021 having risen through the ranks as a youngster, and made his first class debut against Warwickshire at New Road that year.

Reflecting on the news, Lewis said: “(It’s) really shocking.

Worcestershire bowler Josh Baker has died aged 20
Worcestershire bowler Josh Baker has died aged 20 (Getty )

“I spoke to Alex Gidman, who was Worcestershire head coach, and he’s my assistant coach at the moment. He was pretty cut up about it.

“He gave Josh his first contract at Worcestershire, so he was quite connected to that part of cricket.

“Cricket is an incredibly small world and it’s really sad.

“I obviously myself have been around two environments when cricketers have passed away. I was at Sussex with Matthew Hobden and Surrey with Tom Maynard and they’re really sad times.

“It will be a big struggle for Josh’s family, but also for the players at Worcestershire and all the staff there and we wish them all the best.”

The left-arm spinner made 22 first-class appearances for the club, and played for the first team as recently as April, against Durham.

Baker played for the second XI against Somerset at Bromsgrove School, taking three wickets, and taking to the field as recently as Wednesday, May 1, just one day before his passing, and had signed a new three-year deal with the Pears lasting until 2025.

Worcestershire chief executive officer Ashley Giles said: “The news of Josh’s passing has left us all devastated. “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.”

In his career, the left-arm spinner played 22 first-class matches, taking 43 wickets, 17 List A matches and eight T20s, and was capped twice at England under-19 level, playing against Sri Lanka in 2021.

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