Worcestershire Mourns the Unexpected Loss of 20 Year Old Talented Spinner Josh Baker

Remembering Worcestershire’s talented spinner Josh Baker

English cricket is mourning the tragic loss of 20-year-old Worcestershire spinner, Josh Baker. His untimely passing has left the cricket community stunned and saddened.

Worcestershire Mourns the Unexpected Loss of 20 Year Old Talented Spinner Josh Baker

Baker took 43 wickets in 22 first-class matches and another 27 in 25 white-ball games after signing his first contract with the team in 2021 at the age of 17.

As seen by his two half-centuries, including a career-best 75 against Gloucestershire in July 2023, he was also a developing all-round player. Later that season, in Worcestershire’s last-ever game at Headingley against Yorkshire, he made the crucial run that guaranteed a second batting point and the promotion of the team to the top flight, setting off fireworks on the visitors’ balcony.

Baker, a Redditch native, progressed through the age groups at New Road and represented England’s under-19 team. He recently signed a three-year contract extension last season and played grade cricket for Northern District CC in the New South Wales Premier League in Sydney.

He had taken 3 for 66 just this week at Bromsgrove School in the opening innings of Worcestershire’s four-day 2nd XI Championship match against Somerset. On the last day, the game was called off early.

“We are all in complete shock over Josh’s passing,” declared Ashley Giles, the chief executive of Worcestershire. Josh was an essential member of our cricket family and much more than just a teammate. We are all going to miss him very much. Josh’s family and friends have our deepest sympathies and prayers.”

In May 2022, Baker’s most memorable moment occurred at New Road against Durham. At the age of eighteen, he was playing in his ninth first-class match when he faced Ben Stokes, who had just been named England captain and was determined to make a statement with his innings.

After finishing on 161 from 88 balls, Baker was duly hammered for 34 in an over (five sixes and a one-bounce four). However, Stokes reached out to Baker on WhatsApp, pleading with him not to “let today define the rest of your season”.

“You’ve got serious potential and [I] think you’ll go a long way,” Stokes said. “The guys in your changing room have the most valuable advice and will always support you. This from someone who lost badly in the final of the T20 World Cup.”

According to a Worcestershire statement, Baker was well-liked by the team. He was liked by everyone he met, much more so than his abilities as a spin bowler, because of his contagious energy and lively demeanor. He was an amazing member of our team and a genuine credit to his family because of his warmth, friendliness, and professionalism.

In this extremely trying time, the club is committed to helping Josh’s friends, family, and coworkers. We are determined to honor his memory in a way that is appropriate for the extraordinary person he was, and we are united in our sadness.

“Arrangements to honor Josh will be decided after consulting with his family and will not be disclosed at this time. In light of this profound loss, Josh’s family and the club respectfully ask for privacy. During this delicate time, no more remarks will be made.”

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

Josh was a cricketer with his full career and life ahead of him and this news is impossible to comprehend.”In addition to Josh’s teammates, the PCA and the Professional Cricketers’ Trust are striving to assist his family and all other impacted PCA members.

“Rest in Peace, Josh.”

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