Worcestershire cricketer Josh Baker dies aged 20

Worcestershire have announced the death of the young spin bowler

Sonia Twigg
Thursday 02 May 2024 18:13 BST
Worcestershire bowler Josh Baker has died aged 20
Worcestershire bowler Josh Baker has died aged 20 (Getty )

Worcestershire have announced the death of 20-year-old spin bowler Josh Baker, and paid a moving tribute to the young cricketer.

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.

The left-arm spinner made 22 first-class appearances for the club between his debut and his most recent match for the first team in April against Durham just a fortnight ago.

Baker played for Worcestershire’s second XI against Somerset at Bromsgrove School, taking three wickets, on May 1 2024, 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.

The club issued a statement saying: “Worcestershire County Cricket Club is heartbroken to announce the untimely passing of Josh Baker, who was aged only 20 years old.

“During this profoundly difficult time, the club is dedicated to supporting Josh’s family, friends, and colleagues. 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.

“Plans to pay tribute to Josh will be made in consultation with his family and will remain private at this time. The club, along with Josh’s family, requests the respect of privacy as we mourn this immense loss. Further comments will not be provided during this sensitive period.”

The Professional Cricketers’ Association chief executive, Rob Lynch, said: “Everybody at the PCA is heartbroken to hear of Josh’s passing and we offer our sincere condolences to all his family, friends and teammates.

“Josh was a cricketer with his full career and life ahead of him and this news is impossible to comprehend.

“The PCA and the Professional Cricketers’ Trust are working to support Josh’s family, his teammates and all PCA members who are affected.

“Rest in peace, Josh.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board said on X: “This is devastating news. We extend our best wishes to Josh’s family and friends, to everyone who knew and loved him, and to everyone at Worcestershire CCC.”

Other counties have paid tribute to the young spin bowler.

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